Far-flungerie in the digital age

I honestly didn’t know about this when I wrote about far-flungerie a couple of posts ago, but it turns out that Google Russia has recreated the whole of the Trans-Siberian railway online, in real time, complete with rolling view of the countryside out of the train window, and the sound of the train rumbling over the tracks, if you want, or otherwise the sound of someone reciting War and Peace in Russian, or a nice bit of balalaika.

You can ‘get off the train’ at various stops and make use of a virtual guide who offers tours of various sites along the way. The entire journey takes six days – 150 hours – and you can follow the route on a satellite map as you go. Read more about it here.

I can’t tell you how fantastic I think this is. Filming took 30 days and was a ‘major logistical effort’ in the Guardian’s words, all to produce something so essentially, wonderfully pointless as a six-day video of the view out of a train window. As well as the balalaika and the Tolstoy, you can also listen to Russian pop music or Gogol’s Dead Souls. This is far-flungerie in its most Farkas-ish sense. He would have loved it.


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