I'm not sure that reality has sunk in yet. We leave tomorrow evening and I officially finished work this morning after three long night shifts. We are pretty much packed and sorted, I just have a few jobs to do around the house tomorrow and then it is time to set off! So I thought I'd take the time to think about what I am most looking forward to over the next ten weeks.
Top Ten Things I'm Most Excited About
1. Catching up with my friends in Hong Kong. It's been just over a year since I saw them, when we headed to Tasmania for their Australian wedding celebration. It will be great to see how they've settled into their new lives together in Hong Kong.
2. Vladivostok. I've always loved the name, ever since I heard it at school. Rich is excited about seeing the WW2 submarine and I'm just excited that my first steps onto Russia soil will be in Russia's Far East, in the city they refer to as the San Francisco of Russia. I have been to San Francisco, so we'll see if the comparison actually stacks up!
3. Lake Baikal. The deepest lake in the world, it will apparently one day be a new ocean, splitting the continent in half (I doubt humans will be around to see that!)
4. Krasnoyarsk and Stolby National Park. This was never originally on my radar as a place to go, and wasn't in my original itinerary, but when I read about it I was enchanted. There have been a lot of forest fires in the national park lately, but hopefully they will have settled down by the time we head for a hike up to the famous Stolby rock formations.
5. Peterhof - the famous palace in St Petersburg that is modelled on Versailles in Paris. The fountains and gardens are supposed to be lovely. We'll be here on our last day in Russia, to hopefully top off an amazing month of travelling!.
6. A short but sweet stopover in Prague. Neither of us have been here before and hope that this quick taste of the city will be enough. Czech Republic may well be on our hitlist on our next trip to Europe.
7. Seeing some musicals in London's West End. We both love a good musical and have a list of a few we are planning to see, every evening whilst in London.
8. The Dr Who Experience in Cardiff. Yes, slightly bizarre, but I'm a huge Doctor Who fan and have had this on my to-do list since I first heard about it!
9. Heading back to Orkney. I've decided to take Rich to Orkney, way up off the north coast of Scotland. I was born here, and although I left when I was just a baby I still feel this is where my roots are. I'd like to aim to visit at least once a decade!
10. The best thing of all - seeing my little sister!! I only see her once a year for a few days if I'm lucky, and I miss her a lot. We will be spending a fair amount of time in Sheffield and I'll get to meet her boyfriend finally. They've been together longer than Richard and I, but I haven't yet met him face to face.
There are plenty of other things I'm looking forward to - it's quite hard narrowing it down to only 10! I wonder what Rich is most excited about?