Thursday, 15 August 2013

Day 9 - The Trans Siberian

After managing to sleep in, I had to figure out what to do with my time in the train. I spent the morning sorting through my pictures and deleting ones I did not like to free up space.

The family I shared the compartment with were very nice and offered me some of the snacks they brought along. Although we did not speak the same language, we did our best to communicate with each other. It was interesting and not always successfull but overall we managed to introduce ourselves, find out what we do and where we live. This is always the great thing about traveling, meeting different people.

I showed them some of my photos I took along the way and my route before playing a game on the Surface with their son. Overall it was quite entertaining and helped pass the morning and afternoon.

Now back in the restaurant car over another beer, I am typing today's post and some of my GR review. We just finished the stop in Ekaterinenburg and are now travelling through forests and fields with some little villages appearing on the side every now and then.

Sitting here and typing this makes me think of Jonathan Harker in Dracula, sitting in a train travelling through a wast country full of people the language he does not understand. It certainly is an experience I can only recommend to everyone. Being on my own adds to it as it would not be the same travelling in a group or with friends as you could just chat with them and not be fully immersed in the experience.

I am no writer but if I were, I think I could write a book on this journey, having no internet, no phone or any other distractions does help one a lot to focus.

Looking back at the stuff I took along, I have to say the Surface is doing a fantastic job and handling all tasks without issue or complaint. I can fully recommend it for anyone wanting to travel light but does not want to sacrifice on a full computer. It is also powerful and versatile enough to be your primary computer at home when connected to a bigger screen.
The GR ended up being my main camera and will probably remain it, thanks to the fantastic image quality an small size. It simply is a great camera and I can fully recommend it to anyone wanting a small but very capable main camera or needing a great backup camera.
The GXR is doing a very good job as the backup camera, filling in whenever I like a longer lens with the Jupiter-8 or slightly wider with the Heliar 15mm, although here I would now probably take the 12mm instead as the 15mm is too close to the GR 28mm FOV.
The Fonepad is the only device I am not sure about and am hesitant to recommend for such a journey. On one hand, it's great having the capabilities to make phone calls when needed, use WhatsApp and Viber or have the expandable storage with the micro SD card. Where it falls down is the sluggish speed, problems where it does not seem to be able to cache anything so it constantly reloads when switching between apps and the most serious issue of all, the GPS is simply put rubbish as it takes too long to locate, does not locate indoors of from a moving train at all and is sometimes not even accurate. Saying that, I would probably still take it along as it is the only device that can double as a phone and tablet and is cheap enough to overlook some of it's flaws.

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