Thursday, June 21, 2012

Crossing Siberia

Leg 3: Irkutsk to Ekaterinburg; 3,375 km/2,097 miles; 55 hours and 40 minutes

This leg, by far our longest of the journey, was much more fun than the last -- mostly because we spent our time riding across Siberia rather than stopped at border crossings.  We spent a lot of time looking out of our window at the never-ending birch and pine forests that cover Siberia.

We'd been told that as we move farther into Russia our trains would get older.  That has proven pretty accurate so far.  Our Irkutsk to Ekaterinburg train was decked out in 70s wood-grain style.

Sara's bed looking cozy on our first night. 

Our tickets for this train included one meal each day.  Figuring out which meal this would be and what we wanted to order was a feat, but we managed with some help from our Bulgarian neighbors, who spoke English and some Russian.  We were excited each time hot borsch and pasta arrived at our cabin, and we must have been too hungry as well, because we forgot to take a picture.  

For our first 36 hours on the train our cabinmate was an officer in the Russian army (unfortunately we forgot to take a picture of him too).  He was traveling as far as Omsk with a group of army officers, but we couldn't communicate much with the language barrier.

Our provodnitsa (train attendant) in blue and the waitress from the dining car in the red apron - at a stop in Siberia.
Siberian countryside from the train window.

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