Franconia lies in the Southern part of Germany. Going straight on North I would cross the Rhön mountains and some other more or less hilly landscape, until I would find myself in the middle of a large plain at some point roughly between Hannover and Berlin. Turning right and facing East I could travel this plane until reaching the foot of the Ural: Berlin, Posen, Warschau, Minsk (here), Smolensk, Moskau, Gorki (better known as Nishni Nowgorod), Kasan, Ischewsk (with it’s unique museum), Perm. 19 cm on the large map of my old school atlas, measured with a yellow plastic ruler, 3.5 cm equal 500 km, 3.000 km is a good number.
After crossing the Ural from Perm to Nishni-Tagil we face a very large swamp area ruled by the large river systems of Irtysch and Ob north of Omsk: There is no road, no railway, no city on this map, 11 cm or 1.600 km of muddy emptiness. Until we reach the Jenissey somewhere in the region of Podkamennaja-Tunguska (where something fell down 1908) at the foot of the middle siberian mountainous region that we have to cross for another whopping 14 cm or 2.000 km until we reach Jakutsk, hopefully in summertime. From the Lena valley eastwards up to high mountain regions with valleys running mainly from North to South it’s only 8 cm or 1.100 km until we finally come to Magadan, one end of the world.
Generously approximated 7000 km by plastic ruler. The famous transsiberian railway follows a more southern route and one has to make a choice between the Trans-Mongolian or the Trans-Manchurian line depending whether the final destination is Wladiwostok or Peking. Because flying is no option – I generally distrust these aerodynamically formed tin cans and old Russian aeroflot flying coffins powered by industrial alcohol especially – there are only two options: Walking or driving. While walking would demand some years of hard life using a motorized vehicle seems to be a good idea, maybe a Ural in Cross Country Trim would do the job.
But it’s cold and grey outside and there’s the site of the Hakluyt Society and the university library only a 15 minute walk away. With a little imagination some of the meadows here can pass as Siberian Ridges, this has to suffice.