Europe/Asia border – Trans-Mongolian Express.
Our cabin is wonderful, after our “Soviet style” youth hostel in Moscow I”m sure our expectations are lowered, because others in the corridor are less charmed – but we’re loving having the space to ourselves – the toilet only shared with 6 others, and the washroom with 2 others – plenty of space to sit, a little table, some storage space here and there. And, the journey itself is quite literally a dream come true – we’re loving it.
Having said that there’s little to say about the journey itself. The first day the train runs through the relatively the populous part of Russia to the Europe/Asia divide. At the stops locals line the platforms with small carts containing beer, berries, baked pies, dried fish, water and icecreams. We are pretty well set up but get off to stretch our legs and see what’s on offer. We’ve also been able to wash our window at midnight when the train pulled in on platform on the right (south) side of the train. So far there’s a lot of tall grey apartment buildings, industrial chimneys, open cut mines, log cabins, beech trees, old cars, dusty roads. Last night we set an alarm so we wouldn’t miss the Volga crossing which felt strangely nostalgic and was very pretty as the sun was just begining to come up, but the river was not particular wide so it was all over rather quickly.
I have brought Anna Karenina as additional company although I’m 59 pages in and she’s yet to make an in-person appearance. Time, I think, to return to her. Good night.