Created 25-Oct-13
66 photos

If Eastern Siberia declared independence, it would be the world's seventh largest country – just below Australia. It is rich in timber, diamonds, gold, coal, fur, copper, and tin and has deposits of petroleum, natural gas, and uranium. Perhaps because of its vastness, richness, and relative emptiness, Eastern Siberia seems to inspire human activity on a phenomenal scale. The economic development of Eastern Siberia, however, has always been hampered by its distance from Moscow and lack of roads; a trip from Moscow to Yakutsk took more than three muddy months for travelers in the 19th century. The problem, which continues today, is a result of centuries of poor management and Eastern Siberia's severe weather, which fluctuates between frigidly cold winters to wet springs to blisteringly hot summers, and which makes road construction and maintenance a difficult and expensive venture.
Catching train to Siberia in Ulan BatarWaiting room in Ulan Bataar2nd class compartmentRussian-Buryat girlOur Coach waiting for the Russian Train to hook us in the borderHooking upRussian -Mongolian Border postRussian Border and big Army BaseNaushki-Russian BorderStationWaiting roomThe town dissolves after the stationA young Mongolian Girl-Grand Daughter of my drinking companionFrozen Urine-No did not run over a polar bearMy party 2nd class coach

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