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This is a full day on the train.

Day 29 Planned:

  • Rossiya train #1 Irkutsk to Yekaterinburg – depart 1615 hours / arrive 1339 hours + 2 days

Day 29 Actual:

I slept reasonably well (oh what a difference proper pillows makes).

We’re now traveling west and beginning to notice time zones again. Todd and I got up at about 7:30 Irkutsk time which is 4:30 Yekaterinburg time. So the sun wasn’t up even though we wouldn’t be halfway there yet.

At about 6:15 Yekaterinburg time we stopped at a station somewhere and I took the opportunity to update the world clock on my iPad. I don’t know exactly where we were but somewhere to the right of the divider (the sun was definitely up).

That image summarises the trip to date:

1. Canberra to Sydney

2. Sydney to Tokyo (via Hong Kong), roughly two weeks in Japan for the Tokaido Trail

3. Tokyo to Hong Kong (the last plane flight for… a while)

4. Hong Kong to Beijing via Guangzhou

5. Beijing to Ulaanbaatar

6. Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk (with a slight diversion to Listvyanka and Lake Baikal)

7. Irkutsk to Yekaterinburg

8. Yekaterinburg to… nope, not telling yet. You’ll just have to wait a bit.

A light breakfast in the restaurant car, made somewhat amusing by the fact that “scrambled” in the translated menu actually means “fried” with respect to eggs. However some other passengers had warned us about that so I steered clear of the eggs this morning.

Then it was basically a morning of reading and listening to music whilst the scenery rolled by. I even took some photos occasionally.

A station on the way

Lunch in the restaurant car was pleasant, although I suspect I was the butt of jokes on the part of the staff. Still, the interplay was fun even if I didn’t understand what was being said.

I’ve also been paying attention to keeping warm and hydrated. Getting sick on a holiday is never good but if it has to happen two days on a warm train with plenty of fluids is probably the best time to deal with it. Granted it wasn’t much more than a runny nose but jumping on it hard early is what kept it that way.

Dinner was hilarious. We all went down to the restaurant car and there was this… enthusiastically friendly Russian dude camped out in the diner with the staff. I think he was there at lunchtime as well.

This fine fellow firmly believed in the might of RUSSIAN! VODKA!

And spent most of our time there offering RUSSIAN! VODKA! to any of us who wanted any. At least whenever Maria the attendant wasn’t scolding him and pushing him back to his seat.

Julian bravely took three for the team but held the line at three before we retired to the cabins afterwards. A most, and unexpectedly so, entertaining dinner.

After that to bed whilst trying to adapt to the time zone changes.

Photos

And here are the relatively few photos for today.