Posts Tagged ‘Transsiberian Railway’

It’s five am and our neighbour has decided that it’s time to wake up. For himself and everyone else around. This is how our third and last day on the train started.
The platzkart (third class) wagon by itself is not as terrifying as one could fear. I expected all of us to be stacked like cattle, while in fact the the wagon is arranged in a string of six berth coupes, two on one side, four on the other, separated by small walls and the corridor running in the middle.
On the one hand this means that there is a bit of privacy, but on the other it also means that your comfort (survival?) totally depends on your neighbours. And this time we’ve not been exactly lucky. (more…)


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After the first night in the train we arrived in Nizhny Novgorod. Six in the morning is a bit too early for anything so we decided to just wait a bit in the waiting room of the station. The place is a bit spartan but very well kept, the cleaning ladies passing regularly (even while we were there). Around eight we decided to move and take a tram to cross the Oka river and reach the center of the town. Nizhny Novgorod is a very nice town, the third (or fourth) in size in Russia with 1.5 million people. The walk along the Bolshaya Pokrovskaya is pretty pleasant (and a bit reminiscent of the Arbat in Moscow). The street is lively, and populated by a few statues and loudspeakers diffusing music (we found this to be pretty common in Russia: in many parks, squares and walking streets, music is constantly present). 20080829-20080829-DSCN4998 We had a very nice breakfast in an English pub (which was I think the only place where we could eat something before nine) and then went to the local post office to use one of their two computers and get an internet connection to check our mails and update the blog (geek note: we have prepared two USB keys loaded with portable apps and with all the passwords. So far we’ve been more or less lucky with it: for example, at the post the system is so locked up that one is forced to use their internet explorer). The Bolshaya Pokrovskaya ends on one side at the entrance of the local Kremlin which has an impressive view on the Volga river. From there one easily reaches the Assumption church and its golden onion domes.

The next stop was the Stroganov church whose crown-shaped golden roof could have easily figured in a Disney movie. When we entered the church a couple was getting married. It’s only a pity that it was forbidden to take pictures: the crowns they were wearing were quite a view. The Nevsky cathedral on the other side of the Oka river proved to be a bit of a disappointment: it definitely looks better from far, like a background painting.

By this time we were completely exhausted: arriving at six in the morning and walking all day had proven to be quite hard on our legs (more on this later). Which is why we were extremely happy to realize that the square in front of the station hosts a big mall, with a cafe invitingly named “divan”. It was here that we had dinner and waited for the next train that would have lead us to Ekaterinburg.

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