Friday, January 26, 2018

Transmongolian Rails Part V - Siberia to Moscow

Traveling through Russia by rail turned out to be very easy. They have a nice website for the Russia rail system which is easy for foreigners to navigate. In the end, we relied on a travel agency to organize our tickets on the Chinese and Mongolian sections of our journey because we simply could not find another way to buy them in advance, and we didn't want to take any chances. But securing our own tickets for the Russian sections of the trip was easy enough. The compartment we selected wasn't especially cheap (and there were cheaper options) but it was downright luxurious. We had a wonderful time experiencing Siberia by rail as well.

We experienced all kinds of weather on this trip. It was downright warm in China when we departed, and by the time we got to Russia it was freezing cold, complete with snow, even in late April. The train was warm though, and you didn't have to step outside if you didn't want to.

We passed through woods, journeyed by abandoned factories, and stopped at modern cities.

The staff and fellow passengers were a diverse and friendly lot.

Not all of our stops were during the day. Most of them were pretty short so there wasn't much journeying beyond the station, but there was time to hop off and check out the stuff on sale. Even at odd hours, there was action on the platform when the train stopped. There wasn't commotion either; I had no trouble sleeping though stops when I wanted to.

There were more cities and towns with greater frequency as we got closer to Moscow.

Before long, we were there.  It was off the train and into the metro, and into our hotel for a quick rest.

The next day, Moscow would surprise us. I was expecting a typical day of touristy stuff at the Kremlin. Instead, there was a massive rehearsal for the Victory Day parade, to take place the next day. I try to heck up on holidays when I travel and this one had gotten by me. It made for a wild and challenging day that was unforgettable. Check out the many photos from the Moscow, and the final St. Petersburg leg of the trip.

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= center