Featured image is the beautiful St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square at the Kremlin.
And so the train trip begins………
We are dropped off at the Moscow train station where we will board and have our first overnight ride on the TSRR – Trans Siberian Rail Road. We find our train and the first person we meet is Svetlana who will be our conductor or the person in charge of our car. She makes tea for us, straightens our rooms and generally makes sure we are OK.
In the station, as we board, there are low lights on in the car as the generator seems to work well only when we are moving. My first impression is a dark hallway with windows on one side and compartments on the other. My compartment is #5 right in the middle and…. OH! NO! There is no bathroom or sink in my compartment. The youtube videos I saw showed a toilet and a sink and vodka parties in the dining car. Guess that might mean no vodka parties either!!!! The room itself is nondescript and not exactly my impression of “first class:!!
Once we sort of get settled in….there are four hangers. Thank God there is only one of me in here and I get all four. The other ‘bunk’ I use to store my suitcase and I am good for the night…… until I go to the bathroom and I am reminded of a train trip in China about 30 years ago with my dear friend Chris. Well, its not quite as bad as that. Thank goodness! And then I can’t figure out how to turn on the water. I turn one tap then the other and nothing. Finally I get Svetlana and she shows me this piece of metal that comes out of the bottom of the tap and you need to push it up. It’s awkward. First time, I get water all over the sink and me. The shower is somewhere else on the train. I’m not sure I will bother to look for it. God knows who one would have to share that with!!!!
Our saving grace will be that every other day or so, we are in a hotel for a night or two and we can all do our showers and hair washing then. Otherwise I have make-up remover wipes and personal wipes and its PTA for me!!!! And perfume!!!
Along with our group from the 2018 ATW (Around the World Cruise), Helen & Norman, Larry & Kari, Mary and me, we meet our fellow travellers for the next couple of weeks – Gayl & Joe, an American couple who live in Germany, and Vinod, a retired navy gentleman from India who spends his time between his homes in Moscow, Dehli and London England when he is not travelling. Vinod also speaks fluent Russian.
Time to turn in and as I lie there with my book – I am reading The Tiger by John Vaillant. It’s a true story about a Siberian tiger, suggested to me by a good friend. The tigers live in an area near Vladivostok, the last stop on our journey, so it is apropos. I am not sure how easy it will be to get to sleep with the clanging and rocking of our car. We are the last car on the train so it is easy to drop us off and pick us up again when we do our overnight hotel stays at various cities. But it is like the tail on the dog wagging away. I think it may be difficult to sleep. It is bumpy and noisy at times, but before I know it, the book falls away and I am sound asleep.