Day 1 Arrive Moscow and transfer to hotel.
Day 2 Breakfast, walking tour of Moscow (including places connected with the story in “Dr Zhivago” and its author and times). Free afternoon and evening.
Day 3 Breakfast, walking tour of Moscow (including places connected with the story in “Dr Zhivago” and its author and times). Free afternoon and evening
Day 4 By train across the Urals to Perm' early evening arrival, transfer to hotel, overnight.
Day 5 Special Walking Tour of Yuri Zhivago's “Yuryatin” (Perm).
Day 6 Full day Excursion to the Gulag Museum, housed in the only surviving soviet-era Gulag now visitable in Russia. (There is one other, but it's on the Russian Arctic Pacific coast, 900 miles from any rail stop, and only accessible by chartered helicopter).
Day 7 Free day in Perm to explore the rest of this pleasant Urals city – then evening transfer to the station for departure eastwards
Days 8-12 On board the Trans-Sib eastwards via the Chinese Manchurian frontier with Russia.
Day 13 Arrival in Beijing very early morning.
2007 is the 50th Anniversary of the legendary novel Dr Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak. Banned from any publication in the USSR, the book was smuggled to Italy for publication in 1957, and was soon translated and published all over the world. Although awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the USSR refused to allow Pasternak to attend the Award Ceremony, and he died soon after. Zhivago is the story of the Russian Revolution, told through the (fictional) life of one man, Dr Yuri Zhivago. Many of the names in the story have resonances which can’t be translated. Yuri’s name is Zhivago, in which the word “zhiv” (alive, living) is clear. His rival for Lara’s love is Komarovsky – from the Russian word for a mosquito. Yet Lara’s own husband has forgotten her, and changed his name to become the deadly agent of Soviet power, Strelnikov (“the shooter”). The idea for Dr Zhivago began in Perm’, the town to which Pasternak had been evacuated in WW2 – the town appears in the book under the fictional name of “Yuriatin”, and it’s the setting for Yuri’s meetings with Lara. Obviously, Yuri Zhivago was a fictional character, and didn’t have an “address” we can show you today. But the story is based on real places (which could never have been included in the famous film, shot at the height of the Cold War), and we show them to you on this special itinerary, along with other “hidden” sights from the same era which establish the historical background to the book.