Russian canteen fast food breakfast then tube to main train station. As we entered, we tried not to stare at the unconcious woman being wheeled past on a luggage trolley or the haggard drunk tramp lying face down in front of a puddle. Our train had just pulled in and was the same type and travelling the same route, from Belarus to Novosibirsk as the one we arrived on. We were in the same cabin number and bunks too so we quickly settled in, happy that for now we had no cabin companions.
Alison was suffering from a cold so rolled out her mattress and donning a woolly hat climbed under her two blankets and nodded off.
Full of excitement, I sat staring out of the window watching Yekaterinburg slowly fade away, swallowed by birch and pine forests. The yellowing birch trees thinned and large open areas of marsh and grasses were revealed. The blue sky turned grey, then black and rain streaked along the train windows.
I felt so happy. Wallowing in a pool of contentment, sitting on a Russian train heading east, pushing at the edges of my comfort zone.
I collected two silver mugs from the carriage attendant and made some tea and for lunch we had bread and pickle flavour pot mash.
Along the trans-sib railway there are kilometer makers by the side of the track measuring the distance from Moscow. At 5.03 we realised we had passed KM 2118 so we were in Siberia.
We pulled into Tyumen, our last big stop of the evening where we waited for 40 mins. No one got on. Woohoo! Cabin to ourselves. We pushed the top two bunks up and I prepared our evening meal of steak flavoured pot mash and chicken pot noodle. Before you could say pass the honey and mustard seed pickles a glass of vodka may have appeared.
Lights out and gently rocked to sleep by the rolling motion of the train. Such a great way to travel.