RUSSIA! Here I Come…

It’s Sunday afternoon, and in a couple of days I leave for Russian and my Trans Siberia Railroad trip from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok!  Twenty three days and some 6537 KM across this vast country. 

But here in Toronto for the first time in a very long time it is sunny outside.  As a matter of fact, I put the cushions out on the balcony furniture and I was sitting in the sun doing my crossword puzzle until I got too warm.


Below me it is as if someone opened the gates and there are people all over the place – the tour boats are out in the harbour filled with visitors, there are couples pushing carriages, people walking dogs, bicycling, wandering along the boardwalk, and children playing in the park.  Others are lying on the grass, reading or just soaking up that sun we have all been longing for, and I am happy to pick up a few rays and perhaps a bit of colour before I leave on Tuesday May 7 for Russia.

Am I excited?  You betcha!!  I have never been anywhere near Russia and I am so looking forward to visiting this fascinating country of which I know very little.  I am anxious to meet people and see for myself what this country is all about.  What are the people like?  Happy?  Downtrodden? 

The beautiful Winter Palace, more commonly known today as The Hermitage Museum.  We have a tour booked here.

In my mind, for years Russia was considered “the enemy”, and there was friction between Russia and the west.  The USSR was considered a super power right up there with the USA,  until their economy fell apart with the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991.  Stories of food shortages and labour problems painted a picture, for me, of a poor colourless land, with a huge gap between the rich and the poor.  Is it still like this?  I hope to find out.

Russia is the world’s largest country by landmass – some 6.6 million square miles and I will be travelling from one side to the other – St. Petersburg to Vladivostok – through eight time zones!!  (Canada is the second largest country in the world with  3.8 million square miles, while the US is in third place with a landmass of 3.7 million square miles.)  Russia has a population of just under 144 million.  Canada’s population is just over 37 million and the USA is just over 327 million.

PackingIMG_6794 has been somewhat of a conundrum.  They said pack light and in the same breath said pack warm.  I have been juggling clothing.  I guess layering should be the answer.  I am also packing gluten free snacks at least.  Not sure how readily available GF is.  Certainly not at all on the train I’m told.

So I head out in a couple of days, full of excitement and expectations, with eyes wide open and ready to soak up whatever I find…… which may be a lot of vodka if you watch the YouTube Siberian train videos.  At least it should keep me from freezing to death.  St Petersburg here I come……




9 responses to “RUSSIA! Here I Come…”

  1. Have a fabulous time. I can’t wait to hear all about it!!


    1. Thanks Ali. I am very excited. Maybe you could share my blogs with your dad.


  2. mikeykarlsarahandy Avatar

    Hi Pat,

    We are DELIGHTED to be reading your blog as you take your long-awaited journey on the Trans Siberian Railroad. We’re looking forward to riding along with you on what no doubt will be a fascinating journey.

    Much love,

    Steve and Cathy

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Thanks Steve & Cathy. So nice to hear from you. I think of you often and hope our paths will cross soon again. I miss you both. Come to Toronto!!!! Lots of love, Pat


    2. I love it! I think I have two comments from you and it is so good to hear from you both. I am happy you will be ‘riding’ along with me. Almost like being on the ship!! I will be with the D’Silva’s, Noonan’s and Mary Groves from the 2018 ATW so it will be lovely to see them again as well. I expect we will have a great time. Take care and Nostrovia!! That’s about the extent of my Russian by the way!!! xo


  3. Welcome back, Gypsy Boots!!! I’ve missed you! Looking forward to at least eight time zones of reports! Go well, have a marvellous time, and enjoy every sip of that vodka! Nostrovia!!! 💜🌷😘


    1. Thanks Ellen. I am missing you also!!!! We need to get together this summer after I return. I know I am going to have an amazing time and will try to keep up with the blogs. If they are blurry, I’ll blame the vodka!!! Love to you both. xo


  4. Jacquie Tilford Avatar
    Jacquie Tilford

    Bonne voyage. 8 time zones, 2 continents, and the clickity/ clack of rail tracks for weeks, what an adventure. All the best, Jacquie


  5. Thanks Jacquie. I can’t imagine how vast this country is going to be. I am very excited about heading out tomorrow. I hope your travels were interesting and a lot of fun. Take care. Hope to get together again when I return.


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