The Ribbon that Unwrapped Russia

My first ever published article, in Seoul Magazine:

Cancel your flight ticket: the road from Korea to Europe is now open

Written by Andrew Roper

Passing a tractor, Zabaikalsk

Trans-Siberian Highway

I pressed down on the accelerator to get some momentum for the long climb. It was nearly time to stop for the night, but we wanted to reach a gas station and café that someone, a hundred kilometers back at the last village we’d passed through, had said would be here up in the hills. We had hardly seen any traffic since then, and certainly no buildings or driveways—no signs at all that the massive countryside on either side of us wasn’t completely untouched. With the last of the twilight fading, we came upon a collection of long-distance trucks by the side of the road—one of them maneuvering into a space next to the others, their drivers walking up a path to the café a short way above. This was it, our destination for the day—an oasis in miles of wilderness, with silence all around, tiny beneath an enormous blanket of stars.

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Chita

This is our last big town before crossing the infamous Zilov Gap – the bit of the trans-siberian highway that … Read more