Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Riding the Trans-Siberian to Irkutsk--Day 2 5/30

I slept pretty well on the moving train last night. It is dark from about 11PM until 3:30AM so I use a eye mask to keep out the light from the sun as well as the lights from the passing stations and towns. The sounds of the train seems to mask out the sounds of the people so I am not having to wear earplugs. Perhaps other carriages are noiser than mine.

I still have not met anyone who speaks English so all I have been able to do to communicate is to say greetings and pantomime---I hope there are not cultural differences in that. If this continues, I will probably end up reading all four pocket book novels I brought along with digging into the 50 plus books I have stored on my mini iPad under iBooks and Kindle.

Here is another shot of my platzkart from near the bathroom area later in the morning.

I headed down the 8 carriages to a still empty dining car for breakfast.
I passed on the caviar offering and instead had a breakfast of coffee---no free refills of instant coffee---and eggs and ham. They cook the eggs by putting them in a very hot iron pie pan that continued to sizzle as I ate it. They like to use a lot of green garnish of fennel and scallions which makes for a tasty meal.
The scenery outside is fairly the same for hours on end of taiga forests consisting mainly of birch trees with their white bark.
Here I tried to take a picture of the front of the train as we rounded a corner. There are no dramatic river valleys or gorges or mountain ranges we pass by. Everything is fairly flat like the San Juaquin Valley in California except covered with trees and occasional swampy tundra.
Most of the villages we pass by have wooden homes and many of them are built in the log cabin style with metal roofs to sluff off the winter snows

Here is a video of the view from the back of the train.


We have crossed the Kama River as we approach Perm.


Here is a roundabout we passed along the way near Perm, about 1436 km from Moscow.

Again I made my way for dinner and had the Siberian salmon entre which ended up being a good piece of salmon smothered in yoghurt. I was still the only diner and I spotted no English speaking Russians or other travelers. Since this is a domestic train and not an international train, it is not surprising that there are no foreign travelers aboard. I wanted to get the platzkart experience and they do not have them on the international Trans-Siberian-Mongolian route.


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