Monday, June 25, 2012

Ekaterinburg to Moscow

Leg 4: Ekaterinburg to Moscow; 1,668 km/1,036 miles; 29 hours and 17 minutes

This leg seemed to fly by!  We boarded the train about 1 p.m. on Friday and settled into our train routine.  Our cabinmate this time around was an older Russian man wearing very short shorts (sorry, no pictures).  He was traveling for work, which we only figured out after he said “arbeit,” German for work, and made shoveling motions.  After only a few hours on the train, he got off in the nearby city of Perm.  There we were joined by an older Russian couple, who also spoke no English.  They were on their way to Mykonos with their family for vacation.  They gave us chocolate, so we got along very well!

Our train was almost exactly the same as our last train from Irkutsk to Ekaterinburg.  The only difference is that we had an electric locomotive for this leg of the journey – so no occasional whiffs of exhaust through open windows this time around!

Sara in front of the locomotive on our Ekaterinburg to Moscow train

We spent a lot of time watching the changing scenery from the window.  We passed towns and villages much more often than we did crossing Siberia, but there were still endless expanses of trees.  It’s a good thing birch trees look so nice, because we have seen a lot of them!

Siberia in bloom outside our train window

We also crossed the Europe-Asia border again and snapped a picture of a lady hanging out at the obelisk.

An obelisk marking the Europe-Asia border

It is incredible how the trains run precisely on time over such long distances.  Since learning to read the timetables posted in the train corridors, we have been able to get on and off at stops without worrying too much about missing our train. 

Timetable in our carriage from Ekaterinburg to Moscow

Precisely on time at 4:58 p.m. we pulled into Moscow with three days ahead to explore Russia’s capital!

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