Jul 14, 2021  By Tina Manley

My husband Tom and I spent our 50th wedding anniversary in a yurt in the Gobi Desert where the temperature was -30 degrees Fahrenheit! In case you ever desire to do the same, here is the story.

Our normal travel custom is to take an annual 4-to-5 week trip to someplace strange in the January/February time frame. That time of year is slow at our farm and is also the off season for many travel destinations. 2017 was special because it was our 50th wedding anniversary. We had always said we would celebrate that anniversary on the Orient Express, but that train trip has changed quite a bit from the past. The main route of the Orient Express today is only a two-day trip from Paris to Venice, not long enough in time or distance covered for us.

We chose instead the Trans-Siberian Railway from Bejing to Moscow, a journey of some 4,800 miles and requiring six nights if you go straight through. We wanted to spend a month traveling through China, Mongolia, and Russia with many overnight stops for exploration and photography. We found a travel agency in England that planned the whole trip for us with guides meeting us along the way. It is not one luxury train, but many ordinary connections that local commuters use. We would never have been able to figure out the Russian train time tables on our own!!

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