Russia

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Russia is a massive country. Everything is so big and different than anywhere else. I travelled in October 2016 with the transsibirian train from Moscow to Beijing and crossed 7000 kilometers of Russian ground, hang out with Russian grandpas in the train and trying the great cuisine. Most impressive are the eleven time zones which shows the size of this empire of Putin and how independent they can be in the world because of their size and all the good resources they have.

CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN RUSSIA

  • Russia is like second England – they always drink tea!
  • in buildings they don’t have a ground floor (EG – Erdgeschoss in German), it is always 1st floor already
  • Russians are honest! If they don’t smile, they are not happy (often the case)
  • Russians always offer you food, especially in the train
  • Russians don’t complain as much as the Germans because they were a long time used to the Sowjetunion regime and to do what they have to do
  • So in total they are satisfied and helpful people!
  • less a difference than an interesting fact: Russia has a lot of minorities such as the Tartar or Buryats

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WHAT TO DO IN MOSCOW

  • Red square with Basil Cathedral and popular shopping center „GUM“
  • Visit the Kremlin (500 Rubel for normal ticket with Cathedrals, 250 R for Tower of Ivan the Great to have a view over the city) and walk around Alexander Garden
  • Lenin mausoleum
  • Cathedral of Saviour the Christ
  • Bolshoi Theater
  • Walk along Arbat street
  • Moscow Metro (check out a video on Worldtravellerin Facebook page)
  • VDNH Leisure Park with beautiful buildings and space museum (15 min by metro to VDNH station)
  • University of Moscow (20 min by metro)
  • New Moscow City with skyscrapers
  • Rooftop view for free (!) at kids shopping center (station: Lubyana)
Where Russia meets China
Where Russia meets China
My first cabin in second class
Own cabin in second class

TIPS FOR TRANS-SIBIRIAN TRAIN

  • cheapest way is to buy on the Russian website of railway: http://www.rzd.ru
  • you can buy the tickets only 45 days in advance and only for Russian territory (until Ulan-Ude), if you want to go to Mongolia and China you need to buy tickets in Irkutsk or Ulan-Ude or online through realrussia.co.uk or other agencies to be sure
  • you can pay and refund the tickets online and print out with a boarding code
  • on the Russian website you can only buy
  • train numbers like 1, 2 and 7, 8 are “better trains” – more comfortable and nicer toilet, the others like 82 or 274 are original Russian trains for more adventure
One wagon in 3rd class
One wagon in 3rd class
  • 2nd class is a bit nicer and comfortable but who is up for adventure and doesn’t care so much about privacy is okay in 3rd class – as well that’s where “normal” Russians travel – it’s recommendable to try out both but you don’t really need 1st class because there are only 2 beds in the cabin and you don’t get to know anyone
  • there are no showers in the train
  • the staff is always coming around with food like porridge for breakfast or some pastry with potato or sausage, as well there is a restaurant in every train nut normally the people take food with them
  • you always get a cup and boiled waiter for free to make yourself tea or terrine
  • on some platforms there are people selling food or you can go to the shop at the train station if you have enough time
  • you can buy souvenirs such as magnets or cups inside the train

MY BLOG ARTICLE

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Während meines Auslandssemesters in Finnland, ging es für 72 Stunden mit der Fähre rüber ins beeindruckende St. Petersburg. Mehr über die pompösen Gebäude, das zweitgrößte Museum der Welt und dem deftigen Essen gibt es hier im Blogbeitrag:st.petersburg