I need to preface the title really by saying it’s the last train journey in Russia and of the trans-Mongolian adventure. I will be taking more trains before I head home to Australia. It is just over 1800 km from Ekanterinburg to Moscow, just the one night in the train leaving at 7.17 am local time and due in at 10.30am Moscow time the next day. Moscow being two hours behind Ekanterinburg.
It’s proven to be probably the least interesting of all the trains, mostly because the carriage hasn’t been very full – during the day at least and I’m missing the companions of the previous two journeys. In fact all day on the 16th pretty much, bar the first few hours I’ve had the cabin to myself.
There are still a lot of tall, thin trees, and we’ve gone through a few towns and cities. Perm looked pretty bleak I have to be honest as we wheeled through. There was snow on the ground this morning in Ekaterinburg so it was a good thing I only had to go through the underpass and walk 100 metres to the station.
We went through the Ural Mountains, and I must confess to being somewhat disappointed. They weren’t very spectacular, you’d hardly know you were passing through mountains at all to be honest, just rolling hills really. Pleasant, but not dramatic. On the other side of the mountains was a stop in the rather foreboding-looking city of Perm.
The villages are interesting. Everyone seems to have a plot of land they look after and many are already to work ploughing and the like as the snow has finally gone. The houses – some seem new, others look very old and falling down. Most are wooden. But for those that look a little raggedy from the outside, I know that that can be a false impression and the interior and the insulation holds up well. Just after being snowed on for a few winters I suspect it doesn’t take long for the houses to droop substantially on the outside.
The evening came and I was joined in my cabin by three Russian men. And sobthey brought out a bottle of cognac and basically – it’s compulsory so, well, with four to share one bottle it didn’t last long. A bit of chat, it wasn’t the best night’s sleep I’d had this trip. Actually, I only slept worse in the plane!
But eventually we rolled into Moscow, and here I am, back after 18 years! The place has changed a LOT! Well, it was nearly 8000km and I don’t want to think the total number of hourse, but I have ticked the Trans-Mongolian off my bucket list! More on Moscow in a few days!
May the Journey Never End!