Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Riding the Trans-Siberian---Day 4--6/1

Lots of late sleepers this morning after yesterday's activities.

I headed to the dining car as we continued our way to Irkutsk now with a different set of passengers in our carriage. Murad and Polina are the only ones remaining. Another English speaking traveler from France who spoke Russian joined our bunk area so we were able to continue talking as the train rolled on toward Irkutsk on our last full day. Stephan was a student in Petersburg who was just taking a short vacation from his studies.

Also on board were the first Americans I have seen on this trip to Russia. These two Americans who were teachers here in Russia had boarded the train last night and were in our carriage. I spoke to them briefly Apparently they got their teaching jobs through the Lutheran Church, but were not missionaries. They mostly slept on this journey. The guy from Minnesota had previously taught English in China as well. He found it much easier in China than Russia.

This was my last lunch in the dining car and I was able to take a picture of the cook who has been preparing my foods in this tiny kitchen. I can't imagine how she manages it if they had lots of customers in the dining car.

This time I had a chicken cutlet---I think---along with Borscht, salad, tea, and beer
 

More klickity klack down the railroad tracks without much change in scenery.

We pass through some larger cities on our last full day.

At many of the stops they have these old steam powered locomotives as a tourist attraction so I had some local folks take my photo in front of it. One powerful train in its day.

Back on the train platform, these vendors were busy selling all types of goodies ranging from dried or smoked fish, piroskys, nuts, candy, beer, instant noodle meals, and so on. I ended up buying some unshelled pine nuts for 10 roubles and I later found out they were more work than sunflower seeds.

When I got back in the train, I saw that one group of platzkart folks had created their own Kupe cabinet---2nd class cabinet for four---- with blankets which gave them a compartment for four. Very creative.

For dinner, it was a pork cutlet with assorted vegetables with a decorative presentation which was a good way to end my dining experience on this leg of the trip. However, the canned peas were a reminder of some awful dinners I had growing up.

 

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