Trip Start May 30, 2006
Trip End May 31, 2007

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Flag of Russia  ,
Friday, June 9, 2006

it's amazing, but after 40 hours on a train... I'm absolutely knackered!! mind you, it could have something to do with the fact we arrived in Ekateringburg at stupid o'clock this morning. 3.55am moscow time, 5.55 local or 0.55 uk time. not much sleep last night then. First thing we did when we saw the city through the haze of our tired eyes was book our ticket on to irkutsk this evening. I say this evening, but it will also be tomorrow evening and the following.. 52 hours on the train will se us arrive in the siberian transport and communications hub that is the Baikal Province. so, how many books will that consume i wonder.......... the ride from St.Petersburg was actually quite pleasant, despite a burgeoning hangover from the night before and long-drawn out goodbyes with our new friends / drinking buddies (patrick, a belgian steve buschemi look-a-like, katy and Jennifer from Canada, ginger swiss bloke and Sean, the guy we met in moscow who arrived that night) made fairly sure we were running for the train, making it with just 2 mins to spare. Never try and run with 25 kg on your back. it's not much fun. Our cabin had all the creature comforts... a bed.. a table.. and a russian woman and her young daughter who spoke not a word of the Queen's. It was all good tho, much reading and dozing went on between station stops where we'd try and land a bargain with the babooshkas trying to flog us food and water. They are hard to bargain with. The only other excitment other than getting off the train and working how the toilet worked, was when our cabin became a makeshift cinema for the kiddies when the young girl brought out a portable DVD and a pirate copy of that new disney hedge movie and played it to every kid seeminly on the train.. i have since come to the conclusion that children do not go to school here as they are everywhere. I'm also quite baffled by the amount of disgruntled railway workers, mainly the ones who sell tickets who do there utmost not to help let alone explain in any language why she can't sell you a ticket. bitch. Also, tghe most popular international train route in the world, and so far only one of the people working on it i have come across speaks any english. Thankfully she was in the restaurant car and helped dechipher the non anglicised menu. rant over i'll no doubt be back in three days to tell you the rest of the flaws with the russian rail system. by the way.. ekateringburg isn't all bad. it has a pond and several statues... and this post office i'm writing this in. thats about it. oh, no, there's a museum about the towns history too. enthralling. roll on 1705
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