78 hours later – The end of a long train ride
Wow – over three days have passed since our departure from Moscow. Now I’m in Irkutsk and have travelled about 5000 km with many stops and a lot of impressions.
I’m still very impressed and my feeling of distance and time seems a bit “dislocated”. About three days ago I boarded the Transsibirian Train in Moscow. Sitting in train I slowly started realizing what “thousands of kilometres” actually meant. I had booked second class which meant sharing a compartment with three other travellers. Fortunately, my train has been one of the newest types, very clean with air con and surprisingly much space. Until Omsk I’ve shared my compartment with a Dutch guy. With two people in a 4-person-compartment there had been even more space. In Omsk two other Dutch people boarded. A funny coincidence because I ended up travelling with nine people from Holland. Besides them I’ve met a lot of interesting people who have had many stories to tell. Communication has been very funny, depending on communication partner I spoke English, French or German. Well, as a German topic guessing is easy if people are speaking Dutch, but speaking is not really possible.
Looking out the windows I’ve been forest and forest. Sometimes there have been some larger grass fields or a tiny village. These villages have had houses with big gardens for growing fruits and vegetables. For me it has seemed like travelling back in time which resulting in a huge contrast between the modern train and the outside. And suddenly the remaining 1000km seemed like peanuts and nothing. The moving train felt normal and each stop odd.
The Transsibirian has to stop quite a few times and it felt quite good to walk a bit outside. Next to the train woman were waiting to sell vegetables, fruits and home cooked things. I would highly recommend to try these things. They were cheaper than the ones and the train and fresh.
Our conductor Natalia always told how long the stop will be. I should mention that English is not frequently spoken by the conductors. For me my knowledge of Russian language had been sufficient and required because otherwise I didn’t know how to talk to the people working on the train.
Once my Dutch friend and me have almost missed the train. When we got back the door had been closed. So we ran along the train and finally and luckily found an open one. There are so many things to tell and I feel that I could write for hours. I love riding on the train but also look forward to a good shower.
I’m still on the train and we are about to reach Irkutsk in a few minutes.