Howdy all! Well, it’s my final post from my Trans-Mongolian diary, seeing me leave Yekaterinburg and heading off to the final destination of the trip, Moscow! Enjoy!
Tuesday, the 16th of May, 2017.
Woke up shortly before 6:00 AM. Amazing how the body manages to get up before the old alarm almost every time without fail. Look down from the 8th floor to the train station. Patches of snow on the ground, but mostly clear. Da. Yes, it was cold, I managed to surmise.
Took a long shower and shave before completing packing and down at reception at 630 ish. Very efficient. I used the underpass instead of risking life and limb to get to the train station where I got me some chips and a packet of chocolate Seven Days Croissants Minis. Yay!
7:30 AM and we are underway! Just over 1800 kilometres in around 29 hours to Moscow. And I will be able to say I completed the Trans-Mongolian! Also, will I be taking the Perm or Kazan route there? Time will tell, it always does. Wow, the train system here is BIG! So many tracks, engines moving about doing their thing.
Cabin is OK just me and a dude on the top bunk for now. Bottom again. Thankfully! A few beers cans the rubbish. Bag under the table, didn’t see a restaurant car. It is OK. I have plenty of stuff I think. Well on our way an up to date will check in laters!
105PM Moscow time. We have just left Perm. Half, if not all of the carriage got off of Perm. I have my own compartment, for a few hours I suspect. Perm looked grim sort of place. Seriously huge. Railway stock here, though 5 minutes out. More modern apartments here too, compared to the ruins we pass coming in. I guess the Urals are high, they just looked like rolling hills to me. To be honest, not much to see at all. Like Siberia, trees, grass – but on hills.
Supposed to leave at 12:40 PM, but left after 1:00 PM. Not sure what the hold up there was, the length of the train change but I don’t know if they were adding or subtracting carriages. We have just over 1400 kilometres to go – 21 1/2 hours. At a guess. I don’t know if we can make the 20 minutes at Perm up. Lots of old rusted storage crates out the window now. OK then well, another update in a few hours. I said I suspect.
6:30 PM This is now local and Moscow time. We’re clickity-clacking through the forests. Here, so much forest. We have had a couple more stops and appear to be on time.
Kids running amok in the carriage! Screaming, crying, running, but all in all, the carriage is pretty empty. Kirov and Nizhy Novgorod are the remaining big stops with Vladimir at 6:30 AM. I guess we’ll fill up again over those. Probably at Nizhy Novgorod – at 3:00 AM naturally. Not much else to report for now, we’re probably, OK, I’ll check – OK, probably now we have 1100 kilometres to Moscow. Strange happenings. Police asked me about my phone which was in the corridor charging for five minutes. Not sure what the issue was, they just kept saying needed to watch it. Very strange so I just brought it into the cabin so it’s time for me to brave another noodle dinner.
9:15 AM. The evening continued. Next morning writing. Actually, those noodles seem to be a different flavour to the last spicy lot, and although they were a touch spicy, I found thrm much nicer. At 9:00 PM we stopped at Kirov. Hard to believe that was over 12 hours ago now took on a heap of passengers. And yes, I was back to being one of four.
Still, it wasn’t too bad. Better than taking on newbies at 3:00 AM. And then they have to make sure make their beds and all that jazz. I had Igor, Vladimir and ….. crap I forgot the young guys name. I remember he’s 20 years old and not much else. Well he had a few words of English, the others didn’t really, but we managed to communicate.
So, we all polished off a bottle of cognac. Spent nothing after this morning which can only help the budget bottom line, right? It was around just before midnight. I think that the guys called it a night. Which it certainly was.
17th of May 2017.
9:30 AM Today is Wednesday, and it’s 9:30 AM and we are an hour from Moscow. The great train odyssey is nearly at an end and out the window, more trees and. Blanket cloud cover too. It rained overnight. There are pools of water near the old houses we passed, so it must’ve rained pretty hard I guess.
Igor is working his crossword. The rest are sitting up and waiting for this ride to be over. I slept a bit rubbish. I drank nearly a full litre of coke yesterday. I suspect that may have had something to do with it. Not 100% on how to get to the hotel. Red line to stop change to line 20. Light green and two stops …
Some thoughts. Cabins are cramped. A restaurant car on the evening train would be nice I guess for groups of foreigners together on the long haul. Fun experience, but no showers in that time. So you’d need a lot of wet wipes! [if you did the full journey in one go] Nearly 8000 kilometres from Beijing. Cold, borscht, border towns. Bogey changes, cognac, Stewart. It’s been quite the ride!
And we I am in Moscow! Da, I made it. And to be honest with you dear diary, it’s been quite the day! So pulled into Moscow, Yaroslavl station and walked out into Moscow. Across the road was the Kazansky station next door, the Leningradski station. It’s where the long distant stations meet and I think one of Stalin Seven Sisters was there also.
The metro was next door but I walked all around the building and all there was were exits! Next door! it’s always next door in Russia! Border metro card and put 300 Ruble on it. Well 55 is for the card. So yeah. 35 Ruble. A ride. I think I’ve got 7 rides. I used three today. Will put another 150 on tomorrow I think.
Anyhoo, this grand city – I went underneath it as you do to Dostoyevsky Metro Station. Five minute walk to the Slavyanka hotel. No sign outside. Reception was a little frosty and I was a little dismayed when I was told I had to wait till 1400 to check in. It was 11:20 at the time. Then 100 Ruble to store my bag. But I was there. I had made it all the way from Beijing to Moscow on the Trans Mongolian express. A goal achieved. The end!
And thus endeth the story for you of my journey. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. No doubt next year I will open up my diary and share more memories from another adventure or two for you. Thanks for popping by today, take care, and May the Journey Never End!