Rollin’ in style

Getting from A to B in the USSR.

Blogs been on a bit of a holiday because I’ve been shooting so much film and I cant keep up with the processing, thus no visual desert for the screen.

So I’m pulling out a bit of filler.

I post-up alot about the places, but not much about the in between, so today’s blog is how kool train travel is in the Soviet world.

This all depends on the exact train, and if your going poverty or standard, but for the most part you get a private booth ‘Coupe’ set up.
This booth can have from 1 – 4 people in it, and alot of the time a 4 person booth is never full anyway.
These photos are from a 2 person booth, which I had all to myself.

The beds are SUPER comfy and you actually get ‘a good nights sleep’, sheets are meticulously clean, and your linen package comes with a hand towl and face washer as well.
Night travel is normally from 9pm-ish, until morning some time, (obviously depending on how far you are going) and the whole process is like stepping back in time 30 years.
Well, thats what I imagine 30 years ago to look like.

Each Wagon has an attendant who runs the show, she looks after your tea and coffee requests, and also make sure you get off at the right stop.

When crossing borders, immigration and customs come onto the train and the whole procedure can be completed without even needing to get-up out of bed.

Having said that, there’s not much leniency towards over staying Visa’s (even if it was only 3 hours for a whole month), and I got pulled off the train and detained for longer than was comfortable.
A bunch of ancient forms in a language I didn’t understand, $50 fine and the obligatory ‘so do you have kangaroos in your garden?’ type question answered and I was on my way.
Totally ruined my ‘good nights sleep’ though.

A overnight ride will normally set you back between $8-15 dollars, and is quite the sociable event.
Everyone seems to be in a good mood and ready for a jovial time.
Jars of pickled gherkins and olives are pulled out, the delicacy ‘Sol’ (spiced cured Pigs fat) put on the table, and plastic bottle after plastic bottle of beer emptied.

Before you know it the attendant is shaking your feet in the morning wanting her sheets back, and its time to disembark, ready to be disorientated again in a new foreign town.

Ride trains in Russia and Ukraine, its awesome.

6 Responses to “Rollin’ in style”

  1. 1 Jewman March 25, 2010 at 11:00 am

    This is pretty boring…where are the babes at?

  2. 2 streetdiscrete March 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Nice shots. These train compartments have got way more class and comfort than the ones we have in America. The actual travel seems a little rough though.

  3. 3 stella March 25, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    it’s not ‘Sol’ (spiced cured Pigs fat)
    it’s SALO 😉 (stress on ‘a’) 😉

  4. 4 loisron March 27, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Hope you made the most of your extra 3 HOURS. Glad to hear you are still OK and travelling in style. We never got that 30 years ago , or ever. Where to next? We are waiting to hear. Will the easter bunny be there? We are off to BRIGHT for a few days. G n G.

  5. 5 kev ruck March 31, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Hey mate, heard there was some troubles in moscow, just making sure your ok and everthing is going well.


  6. 6 Thomas Paine May 3, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Stupid question but are the trains in Russia pretty smoky? How did you handle the “sala”? To me it tastes like raw bacon without the meat. Love the blog!

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