CLIMB ABOARD THE PEACE TRAIN – please wait while the Trans-Siberian slide show downloads.

Watch the world - okay, Siberia, roll by. Just like being there, but without all the Russians and the vodka induced hangovers. Our (my friend Steph and I) trip started in Beijing and trundled through Mongolia on it's way to Moscow. If we had stayed aboard the train the entire time it would have taken a week but since we got often a lot it took closer to a month.

We finished in Moscow with a ballet - Swan Lake (it's about duck shooting), so Steph could check out the size of Russian Men's packages. We also checked out "The Hermitage" in St Petersburg which is a art museum with over a thousand rooms. In the end Steph and I split up, she checked out the impressionists and I wandered about counting how many of the female guards had mustaches. 19 out of 37, which made me suspect they recruit from the Cheynoble area.

After Moscow we went to St Petersburg to check out the prison (my idea) on the off chance we could visit. I once flatted with two girls addicted to the TV series "Bad Girls" so I'm pretty interested in prisons. I think any tour where the guide wears a balaclava, carries a semi automatic and has to radio in our location every ten minutes are always good value. There are 10,000 inmates in St Petersburg Prison but we only saw their hands sticking out windows and a few exercising in a yard.

Steph kept asking when visiting times were because I had forged one registration stamp in my passport (long story but I saved $20) and said that kind of information might prove useful should my family wish to visit me in jail. I didn't think that was funny.