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St PetersburgIrkutskUlan UdeHarbinKazanYekaterinburgOmskNovosibirskVladivostokBEIJINGULAAN BAATARMOSCOWRUSSIACHINAMONGOLIAKAZAKHSTANNORTHKOREASOUTHKOREAUKRAINEBELARUSSWEDENNORWAYAYAFINLANDESTONIALATVIALITHUANIAPOLANDUrararlMountainsLakeBaikalSea ofAzovCaCaCspspsianBalticSeaSeSeSaVoVoVlglglagagArctititcOceanBarentsSeaYelloYelloYw SeaSea ofJapanSeaofofoOkhotststk0500 miles0805 kilometresIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII01000 miles01610 kilometresAUDLEY TRAVELLER | 23established that I was much too thin an Englishman to survive a Russian winter, she took me under her wing and over the course of the journey fed me some of the most delicious home-cooked Russian food. Although she spoke no English - and my Russian is fairly limited - we became  rm  iends for the journey. She was genuinely moved when the  me came for us to go our separate ways and I was very sad to say goodbye. "You hear a lot about how un iendly Russians can appear, but once you've cracked the exterior grumpiness with a joke or a shared glass of vodka, you'll always see the  uth of what really lies beneath - a warm,  iendly and generous people who are intensely proud of their very beau ful coun y and its long and  uly fascina ng history." Moscow John"Arriving in Moscow r at the end of the long  ack  om Beijing feels like an achievement. Standing at the heart of the ci , Red Square, surrounded by centuries of Russian history and culture feels like a   ng end to the most wonderful journey.  e ci sights really do live up to their billing. Surrounded by St Basil's and the Kremlin, it suddenly hits home that you have  avelled through - and are now standing at the heart of - one of the world's most historically and poli cally in uen al na ons.  is feeling is staggering and makes the journey in itself eminently worthwhile."GET STARTEDA 16 day tailor-made trip along the Trans-Siberian Railway, taking in Beijing, Ulaan Bataar, Lake Baikal and Moscow starts from £3,195pp. For more information , please contact our Russia specialists on 01993 838 230.board the  ain to Russia the following day. Lake BaikalJohn"One of the most beau ful examples of a small Siberian town is Listvyanka on the shores of Lake Baikal e, my des na on a er 30 hours spent  avelling over the border  om Mongolia. " is quaint town, made up of a few larger hotels and a myriad of other  ny but decora ve wooden 'gingerbread' houses, is nestled in between two pine-covered valleys and is where many Russians themselves choose to relax. "Indeed there is a legend that Lake Baikal emanates some sort of mys cal energy that will re esh the soul of even the most world-weary  aveller. Whilst I don't know if this is  ue, the en re town does have a general air of relaxed sleepiness that is highly contagious!"On board the trainJohn"I've had many wonderful  ain experiences as part of this journey but one special memory of my  me on board has been sharing a compartment with the most fantas c babushka (the a ec onate term used for a Russian grandma). Having TRANSSIBERIAN RAILWAYTo read our online guide to the Trans-Siberian Railway,which includes an interactive map, please visit: WEB www.audley.co.uk/traveller/spring2013PLUSSt PetersburgEkaterinburgIrkutskHarbinVladivostokMOSCOWULAAN BAATARBEIJINGARCTIC OCEANSEA OF OKHOTSKUral MountainsSea of AzovLake BaikalCaspian SeaVolgaKAZAKHSTANMONGOLIARUSSIACHINASIBERIA1234IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII01000 miles01610 kilometres

24 | AUDLEY TRAVELLER | www.audley.co.uk/namibiaAFRICA OTOGRAPHY . Grandmother's smileVisi ng a remote San bushman  ibe near Groo ontein was one of the highlights of my  ip. I went on a bush walk learning about the medicinal uses of plants and how to  nd water in the middle of the desert. Back at the village, the San elder showed me how to make  re and taught me to make a bow and arrow, followed by my humilia ngly failed a empts to shoot the arrow at a target! One of the ladies in the village was instantly welcoming with her warm smile, and wonderfully wrinkled skin. She sat telling stories about her children and grandchildren, and seemed to genuinely enjoy learning about my family too. On her recent trip to Namibia, Africa regional manager Katie Fewkes spent time with two very different tribes - the Himba and San bushmen - and learned about their traditionsTribes of Namibia?> DIGITAL DISPATCHES2From Kenya's Samburu and Maasai tribes to South Africa's Zulus: read more about Africa's fascinating cultures: www.audley.co.uk/traveller/spring2013WEB PLUS3. Young Himba boyI had been to Namibia before, but my previous adventures only showed me the wildlife and landscapes of this spectacular coun y. So when I had the chance to spend an a ernoon in a Himba village, I was delighted. My guide helped  anslate the many ques ons that the Himba had for me, and in return I asked to learn more about their  adi ons. is boy had his hair split into two braids, meaning both of his parents were s ll living. I really liked his quiet con dence that came through in this por ait as he glanced at me sideways with a slight air of suspicion. 2. Sisterly affectionDuring my visit with a Himba clan, I cha ed with this family.  e mother was busy cooking up a kind of porridge on the  re (seen  om the smoke in the background) but the eldest sister was keen to see a photo with her younger siblings on my digital SLR.  e men of this village were away grazing their goat herds, so I only met the women and children.As is  pical of many A ican villages, regardless of  ibe, the mothers and grandmothers spend much of their  me tending crops, looking a er livestock and cooking food for their families.  e result is that the eldest siblings o en assume responsibili for looking a er their younger sisters and brothers, keeping them safe while their parents are busy.