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Gallery: The epic, educational, unforgettable Mongolian Express
The rail journey from St. Petersburg to Beijing offers history, culture and even a few tidbits about the railway itself
Being a lover of railways, a student of history and someone whose favorite movie was once "Doctor Zhivago," I’d always wanted to ride the Trans-Siberian Railway.
I got my chance at one section of it recently with a small group tour over 21 days, organized by Sundowners Overland.
The Trans-Mongolian journey is particularly gratifying, but the whole journey is one of those rarities in the travel world -- an event that lived up to the hype.
The 7,865-kilometer trip began in St. Petersburg, with stopovers in Moscow, Irkutsk-Lake Baikal and Ulaanbaatar-Terelj National Park, before concluding in Beijing.
See a map here and click through the gallery above for images and info.
More on CNN: Spectacular, rarely seen images of China's railways