Read and watch NPR’s reporter David Green and photographer David Gilkey’s account of their 2-week long journey through Russia, from Moscow to Vladivostok, by train.
With passable roads for wheeled transport still a rare site in the vast expanse of Siberia, the Trans-Siberian railway is a monster of a road: at 6000 miles it is the longest railroad in the world. And the landscape opening up to anyone traveling along it - formidable and unforgiving.
"The things to do were amazing and the places to see were epic; but the people, the people are what made it all worth the effort", said Gilkey. While going through his outtakes, a photo gallery emerged with stark images capturing the strength and self-assuredness of the Russians.
"It was in their eyes. You could see that life is tough - nothing comes easy - but it has made them stronger," he said. "The adversity is always present - in life, in government, but they march through it while holding on to a strong sense of the past."
Storm clouds pass above a wintery landscape on the shores of Lake Baikal in central Russia. Baikal is the world’s largest and oldest lake and holds nearly 20 percent of the world’s fresh water.
The route of the trans-Siberian railway from Moscow to Vladivostok