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A map showing the Trans-Siberian (black)
and the Trans-Mongolian (red) Railways.

Yesterday while I was reading a bit about Mongolia I came across
something that I heard of years ago but had completely forgotten
about — the Trans-Siberian Railway. The railway system is a complex
one, forming at least two different main routes, one of which goes
from Moscow to Beijing. It is a little unclear but the run spans about
6,000 miles (8,200 km) between those two cities. If no stop-overs are
made it takes about 6 days. I would say that's pretty damn fast really
considering the terrain, the climate, and the fact that there are gauge
differences in the tracks along the route.

Some say there are no adventures left in the world. But, putting sarcasm
about delays at airports aside for a moment, I would say that there are
a few left.

Anyway, even though it is from another region of the globe looking at
the Trans-Siberian Railway got me to thinking about Loreena McKennitt's
beautiful "Night Ride Across the Caucasus."

Ride on through the night tide on
Ride on through the night tide on

There are visions, there are memories
There are echoes of thundering hooves
There are fires, there is laughter
There's the sound of a thousand doves

In the velvet of the darkness
By the silhouette of silent trees
They are watching waiting
They are witnessing life's mysteries

Cascading stars on the slumbering hills
They are dancing as far as the sea
Riding o'er the land, you can feel its gentle hand
Leading on to its destiny

Take me with you on this journey
Where the boundaries of time are now tossed
In cathedrals of the forest
In the words of the tongues now lost

Find the answers, ask the questions
Find the roots of an ancient tree
Take me dancing, take me singing
I'll ride on till the moon meets the sea

"In the end, I wonder if one of the most important
steps on our journey is the one in which we throw away
the map."

— Loreena McKennitt.

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