Since the night trains we are taking these days, you really don’t want to miss, we always show up one hour in advance. And every time it feels a bit like a night at the opera.
This is because many of the trans-Siberian train stations are very grand and impressive buildings. From both inside and outside, they give more the impression of a theater or an opera house than of a station – only they’re bigger. Inside, they are all columns, marble and chandeliers. The only mismatch are the exhausted people sleeping on the benches.
Even though the station buildings have any possible decorative luxury, you look in vain for an escalator or a lift in them. We have dragged our suitcases up and down the stairs of many an under- or overpass already. Moreover, the luggage rooms are usually located in the basement, which results in some extra stair dragging. Just to make things easier, the more comfortable waiting rooms are often upstairs. Some stations have ramps for the suitcases as a special extra. Those would be great, only once you managed to get the suitcase through the labyrinth of trash bins and such which they put up right in front, you’ll find that in fact they’re more similar to slides, since they, too, are made of marble and extremely slippery.