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The Road Ahead: Europe, The Netherlands To Ukraine (New Silk Road Travels Bout 4)

The road ahead consist of crossing Europe from the Netherlands to Ukraine.

I’m getting ready to delve into my forth bout of New Silk Road research travels. This time it will be to Europe, the other side of the Belt and Road.

I’ve previously covered New Silk Road projects all through China, Kazakhstan, Southeast Asia, and South Asia . . . now it’s time to see where all of those rail lines, shipping routes, and trade corridors actually lead to.

I’m scheduled to fly into Amsterdam, where I will hang out for the King’s Day holiday. Then I’ll head down to the Hague the next morning, meet with a research institute, then turn around and return to Amsterdam. The day after that I will meet with a university professor who researches Mao-era Chinese history and has the largest collection of CCP propaganda posters in the world — yes, I should get to see them. Then I will go and visit the Port of Rotterdam — one of the largest and most important seaports in the world, and also a terminus of a major China-Europe rail line that stretches all the way from the coast of China.

From the Netherlands I will head down to Brussels, meet with some more think tanks and gov researchers.

Then to Luxembourg. Why? Why not? Never been there before and I’m not sure when I’ll be back for another shot to visit.

Luxembourg isn’t quite on the path to much, but it is on the path to where I’ll be going next: Germany. I’ll move over to Frankfurt and then up to Duisburg, visit a big time dry port, interview a big time logistics company, and the go to Hamburg to visit the port, which is also a terminus for China-Europe trains. From there I believe I will fly to Warsaw.

I don’t believe I will stay in Warsaw very long, having more business to do in Lodz, which is a little ways to the Southwest. There’s a major dry port and transshipment area there that receives China-Europe trains. Still chasing those trains, my next step will be the border of Poland and Belarus, where the China-Europe trains change track gauge. The Soviet rail lines are wider than those in more western realms of Europe and China, so cargo needs to be relayed twice on the way across Eurasia. I saw these cargo transfers on the Kazakhstan/ China border, and I would like to see them happen on the other side as well.

Then I will go up to Vilnius and then to Minsk. From there it’s down to Ukraine.

I may go to Georgia and Azerbaijan from there, but I may choose to save them for New Silk Road travels bout 5.

Filed under: Europe, New Silk Road Travel Notes, Travel Plan

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3575 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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