On Monday I started my trip by the Trans-Sibirian Railway in Moscow. With almost 10 000 km the longest railway in the world and now 100 years old. My first stop was Ekaterinburg after 28 hours. This first journey was already so exciting. Luckily I got a ticket for second class so I had my own cabin with four beds with only one calm lady together. The third class is a big open room with about 30 beds where it mostly gets a bit smelly because of all the people. But I will try this on another trip as well.
First of all, I was the only not-Russian in the whole train! And because no one speaks English in general it was a quiet journey for me. Anyway the woman in my cabin was very friendly, she offered me food and tried to talk to me. She is going to the last station “Ulan-Ude” and visits her brother there. That’s almost on the border to Mongolia and her journey takes four days. Mine was “only” 28 hours. The best of the train was the toilet. How I expected, no luxury or warm water but the flushes is really going on the rails underneath the train and not in a separate bin! Haha 😀 that’s real Russian!
At the first stop we reached, there were people on the platform selling different kinds of stuff and food. In the train they offered snacks, pizza, bread and soup as well. In the morning I bought a bowl of warm porridge – yummy! Besides there is free hot water available all the time.
My first night was very good. I just woke up once because of the noise of the train. But in total my bed was very comfy – you get an extra mattress, thick blanket, pillow and linen. I really enjoyed looking out in the colourful scenery with yellow, green and red trees and I even discovered some snow!
When I arrived to Ekaterinburg it was zero degrees, so the warm train was a good place to be. There I had a nice girl from Couchsurfing, Maria, who hosted me for one night. In the evening I cooked dinner for her and we had good talks. She lived together with two cats in a big building and I had a whole room for myself. The next morning we walked together to her work through the city. Although I took all my luggage with me to store at her work, it was nice to see the big lake with a long promenade to walk.
Afterwards I explored the city on my own, went to the Alexis Newsky Cathedral which is really beautiful. But I visited it in the worst moment ever – there was a funeral going on inside! Then I went to the “Arbat street” of Ekaterinburg, an pedestrian street with shops and restaurants. In the afternoon I met with the German couples I got to know in Moscow and we had lunch together. At 5pm my train to Novosibirsk already depart.
How I survived 3rd class, you can read in the next article!