Longest journey

Sep 24, 2008
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Was in a discussion the other day when someone asked me the longest railway trip I had done. For me at eighteen it was from Walton to Harwich and from the Hook to Trieste, do not know how long that was . In later life in a MH Hymer 520 we went down through France to Portugal ) Algarve ,on to Gibraltar, up to Monaco and down to Naples, up to Dresden across to Normandy for anniversary 6th June. Did put it down on a log which went selling it.
 
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May 24, 2014
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Not sure of the distance but the most exciting rail journey I had was as a schoolboy when I was lucky enough to visit communist Russia, a party of 4 boys and one master. Flew out on Aeroflot to Moscow where we stayed for a week, then took the sleeper train to Leningrad (now St Petersburg). Very basic and we were escorted of course. This was 1973. Our escort were 4 guys in suits and a matching party of Russian schoolkids who were all fluent English speakers. The fact they were all girls only added to the interest. It was a very cultural and enlightening trip. Four years later I took the shilling and was indoctrinated with anti Russian sentiment, something i have never really reconciled. I have always felt the ordinary Russians are just like us, just trying to make a life out of this world.

The train engine itself was utterly huge, a great black beast of a steam train. I think the journey was about 20 hrs all in, but its a long time ago and memories are a bit vague.

Just done some checking, its about 750k and nowadays takes 8 hours stopping at Tver for one minute. Back then it stopped at dozens of small stations.
 
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Honeymoon,got married in the morning,drove to Calais in afternoon,next day Calais to Monte Carlo.3 days and home with an overnight in France.18 yrs ago last Sunday (anniversary).
 
Jul 18, 2017
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A couple of times using steam and diesel on the same trip. Steam for going over mountains and diesel for flat runs. Travelled 2000 miles from Cape Town through Botswana to Bulawayo changing trains at Bulawayo for the final leg to Salisbury which is now Harare in Zimbabwe. In the sixties it was still wild and you saw many animals travelling through Botswana and Rhodesia now Zimbabwe.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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When living in Canada I went to a friends wedding in Raleigh North Carolina. The trip Ottawa to Raleigh was around 850 miles each way. I drove as they wanted their wedding presents bought back to Ottawa so they could fly back from honeymoon direct into Canada. Journey down was okay but the return seemed an eternity. The combination of Jeep Renegade and hangover didn’t help.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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The Longest trip me and the wife done with my parents drove us down in his Austin Allegro to Gatwick Airport got a plane to Paris Charles De Gaulle International Airport got on a coach with a toilet onboard to Benidorm Spain is 960 miles we were picking customers up on route and stopping for Lunch break &, Tea breaks it took roughly 26 hrs + and we had that to look forward on the return journey and we said never again .
 
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May 24, 2014
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For journeys, I can top that. I thought we were only talking about trains. My longest was just short of 6000km each way. Put me off cruise ships for life. Didnt think much of Port Stanley either. ;)
 
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Well one I can recall was when a work colleague and good friend realised he had spent too long in Kingston Ontario attending a regatta and hadn’t allowed enough time to get back to Ottawa. Two hours by car, but three days at least by boat. So he rang my boss to ask if I could be released to bring his boat back. So I drove down and let him have the car to drive back to Ottawa.

I then had to use his camping kit as the boat had nothing at all, not even a “ heads”. Quite enjoyed the 150 mile or so trip back along the Rideau River and Canal although without GPS as light deteriorated due to weather or time spotting the navigation markers in the large open areas was a bit difficult. So I would draw stumps early and camp.
 
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Mar 17, 2020
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Not sure of the distance but the most exciting rail journey I had was as a schoolboy when I was lucky enough to visit communist Russia, a party of 4 boys and one master. Flew out on Aeroflot to Moscow where we stayed for a week, then took the sleeper train to Leningrad (now St Petersburg). Very basic and we were escorted of course. This was 1973. Our escort were 4 guys in suits and a matching party of Russian schoolkids who were all fluent English speakers. The fact they were all girls only added to the interest. It was a very cultural and enlightening trip. Four years later I took the shilling and was indoctrinated with anti Russian sentiment, something i have never really reconciled. I have always felt the ordinary Russians are just like us, just trying to make a life out of this world.

The train engine itself was utterly huge, a great black beast of a steam train. I think the journey was about 20 hrs all in, but its a long time ago and memories are a bit vague.

Just done some checking, its about 750k and nowadays takes 8 hours stopping at Tver for one minute. Back then it stopped at dozens of small stations.

Took the train from Moscow to St Petersburg in 2017. Journey time just under 4 hours. I seem to remember only one brief pause but it might have been two. This was on the Sapsan high speed train which halves the journey time without doubling the price!

I'm sure ordinary Russians, certainly the vast majority, are as you say basically similar to us. That's probably true for all nationalities where "making a life" is a fundamental desire.

My own feelings, for what they are worth, is that if I had to live in Russia or in China without a doubt it would be China.
 

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May 24, 2014
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My own feelings, for what they are worth, is that if I had to live in Russia or in China without a doubt it would be China.

Interesting thought, but why. I have never been to the Chinese interior, only the border, so I have no experience. Just wondering what you think would be better.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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I have not done extensive journeys like some, but a couple of times I did Liverpool to Hamburg by train and ferry.

But why I write is I noticed a totally different method of gps use in Australia. Traveling from Melbourne to Adelaide along the great ocean road, I did not need a SatNav. Only 1 road, keep the sea to the left. But running late and not wanting to arrive in Adelaide after midnight, I had to cut across country. I turned the SatNav on to make sure I was on the right road. No map was shown. Just the road identity and the instruction.

”In 102 miles, bare left”. After that 102 miles I got a similar instruction.

John
 
Mar 17, 2020
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Interesting thought, but why. I have never been to the Chinese interior, only the border, so I have no experience. Just wondering what you think would be better.

I think the first thing to say categorically is that for political considerations I would not live in either country by choice. I imagine most of us feel the same on that score.

However, without boring you with an "essay" my personal feelings whist in both counties is that in China the influence of the state is less obvious to the casual visitor. I can't speak for the feelings of residents and, of course, those living in both countries will have differing individual views that are influenced by their own circumstances and political sympathies.

Russia seems "hard" and China "soft". Not a very "scientific" or even "objective" view I know so please see it as a "feeling" and maybe other forum members will feel exactly the opposite way! Who knows.

Metal detectors at the entrances to shopping arcades with guards holding machine guns watching people enter and leave in Moscow sort of set the scene! Uniformed surveillance is everywhere in the big cities and I had the feeling that ordinary people were constantly aware of their need to comply. If you want to invest in Russia then open a "Uniform Factory"!

Housing and living conditions for many are very poor, particularly in Russia where cramped out of date apartments, dating back to a previous regime, are everywhere in the cities. China seems to have modernised in this respect faster than Russia but again, I can only speak from the little experience I have. It must be acknowledged that contrasts across and within such vast countries are stark. There are new and massive high rise housing in "clumps" dotted around China. I would hate to live in any but with the numbers requiring housing it seems some efforts are being made to cope. Again, this is a personal observation and may not be so obvious in different parts of the country.

Both countries, but especially China, have created transport systems that are light years ahead of the UK. We talk about HS2 but better and more already exists in China. Railway speeds of over 300km/h are the norm. (And that's equally true for Japan and other Far Eastern Countries).

Vast networks of concrete raised tracks literally crisscross and "worm" around the country. If ground level is already occupied then build over seems the answer - equally true for Japan of course.

Whilst in China my own feelings were quite different from those in Russia although I know the role of the state is at least as big an influence on the quality of lives it seems less obvious to the casual observer. In reality both countries are exactly the same in their control but in China, my personal feeling, is that it's less obvious.

Having said that if you think surveillance in the UK is well developed in China every few yards there are cameras mounted above the streets. In both countries you are being watched!

You might feel that there are some benefits such as the almost total lack of graffiti. The response time for action if anything untoward takes place in China, I was told, is minutes. The "artist" will have been taken and the graffiti removed almost immediately.

All very subjective views and not even scratching the surface really.

I suppose my "feeling" is that in the few parts I have visited I would expect a more comfortable quality of life in China but it's just how I feel and I'm not very good at explaining it.
 
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I once drove down to Cape Town from the present day Harare in Zimbabwe a distance of 2000 miles in 1969. Left at 4am and arrived in Cape Town the next day at lunch time. Needless to say the return journey took 3 days. LOL! :D
 
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May 7, 2012
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Not one for long journeys although we have done Venice to Paris overnight by train, for anyone trying it the train is Italian and an adventure.. Longest journey in a day with a caravan was the C&CC site at Kidderminster to Glasgow. Longer than our normal single day norm, and cannot remember now what the reason we did one that long.
 
May 24, 2014
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Our Russia visit came at a time when the Communism stranglehold on its people was at its most oppressive, apart from the pogroms that is.

The schoolmaster that took us, a history teacher was American, who freely admitted that he was in the UK to escape the draft. He advised us before we went that chewing gum and denim were some of the most sought after items and symbols of the west and these items could be sold for high prices or swapped for almost anything. I only took some chewing gum and hadnt the heart to sell it and i ended up giving it away to our escorts.

One thing that really stood out in my mind was on the occasions we passed housing developments and we saw photo boards in glass cabinets. We were informed the pictures were of residents held to be model communists. It doesnt take much imagination to understand what a model communist did to get his/her photo up. They were basically informants. The fact they saw this as normal and had no fear of reprisal was in stark contrast to the west.

Visiting a huge department store in Moscow, at that time, also demonstrated what a different life we lived. Even normal items like transistor radios looked antique in comparison. The cars what few there were looked incredibly nasty, and then there were the fleets of Zils which gave a real feeling if unease. Zils were almost exclusively for the use of state officials and of course included the KGB. In our mind every Zil was packed with spies.

All in all though, what a trip for a teenager and must have cost my parents a fortune they could ill afford.

On the second leg of our trip we linked up with a large group from the USA, Canada and Oz and with this group we were invited to a reception at the American Embassy. Of course our man was going nowhere near it, so a party of four lads went to the Bolshoi Ballet. At the time we could have lynched him and in all honesty looking back we didnt appreciate the opportunity.
 
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Its a mix of time as well as distance.
From Birmingham you can do Africa,Morocco in four days each way. three is you split the drive.
We did that over a August bank holiday weekend and the following week in a Berlingo. I have driven to Gib and Africa 5 times now in various vehicles.

Often done the 1700 miles from Poland to the UK in Day

Got drunk and agreed to dry to my friends house in Israel from Birmingham. A ten day each way run.

Did the French Atlantic coast in 2019 over three weeks with a caravan, wifey and dogs.

Was supposed to be 2020 then 2021 and now 2022 we plan to do a caravan to Nordkapp over 8 -9 weeks, 6 up and 2 or 3 down.

I have driven to Moscow from Calais with three friends for a mc donalds in red square. 10 weeks to organise visa and papers did this 2019 spring holiday for a blokes weekend away, 5 days total.

if you want to know serious drives ask an Aussie. some of those peeps can do thousands in a weekend
 
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Aug 16, 2021
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I dream of taking a train ride. I have heard many interesting stories from friends about traveling by train. According to their stories, this is the most romantic type of travel and the most memorable.
For the next couple of years, traveling by train with friends is on my list of plans. I would be glad if you would share with me the most picturesque way by train.
This year, my friends and I decided to just take a ride through the beautiful places of our country. We plan to see all the most beautiful national parks. I think it will be exciting.
 
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