The Vodka Train

Trip Start Feb 16, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Russian Federation  ,
Thursday, March 20, 2008

There is a company called 'The vodka train' which organise train tickets and excursions on the Tran-Siberian Railway, it is a good company but the luxury of someone meeting you at the station (holding your hand basically!!) and someone booking all of your tickets will cost you over 1000 pounds, I was tempted to do this before I left for the convenience as its is really hard to buy tickets but was put off by the price.
Luckily I managed, with a bit of luck to end up the the same train anyway, (but for a considerably lower price)which had a load of other backpackers on it that were going to Ulan Batar.

After now spending a couple of days on the train that moves all night and all day without stopping (apart from at stations) Im really starting to get a feel for how big Russia really is. I obvioulsy knew that it was the biggest country in the world but did not realise that is had 8 time zones and is 17,175,000 sq kilometeres (6.5million square miles)!! To put that in to perspective think how long it would take to drive or get the train from New Romney or even london to the northern most point in Scotland. The whole of the UK can fit onto Russian 69 times!!
Crossing all of the times zones messed up our body clocks a bit and we ended up drinking quite early, met all of the other backpackers in the restuarant carrage and there were also a load of mogols which appeared more friendly (and up for a laugh) than any of the Russians, giving the train a much better atmosphere! There were all sorts of comedy moments, some of the funiest being me dancing and singing with the mogol women,playing cards with them, arm wrestling with the men, high fiving the majority of them...although this was all after alot of vodka.
The next day, after drinking all of the vodka on the train we attually found it hard to get hold of anymore as the little shops on the platform were not liecenced to sell it, so in the end we had to settle for a beer called Oxator which was 8%, we soon discovered that the best thing for a hang over was to continue drinking!!
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