St Petersburg to Moscow
22.10.2011 - 23.10.2011 18 °C
St Petersburg to Moscow – on the Red Arrow – 22nd September
I had been looking forward to my first overnight train trip for a while, all of my journeys so far had been during the day. The journey from St Petersburg to Moscow can of course be done during the day time and recently can be done in around 4 hours on the fast train. However, the traditional way of doing it is by overnight train. The Red Arrow is the most prestigious of the overnight trains, it is a Russian Institution, each night travelling from one city to the next from midnight to 08:00 each morning. If I was going to travel overnight then I was going to do the Red Arrow. I had thought about booking it in the UK and paying agency fees but in the end I had managed to purchase all of my tickets in Russia for Russian prices which was a real bonus.
As the train departs music of the Russian national anthem plays on the speaker system, you are shown to your cabin by the courteous staff and you are given your bedding. I was not totally accustomed to the practice but watched others and followed suit. A big surly German guy came in smelling of Vodka, he broke the ice immediately in the cabin by shaking everybodies hands vigorously before crashing out in a drunken stupor. I spoke briefly to a Belgian guy but then insisted that he get off my bed because I was fooking knackered. I had been waiting around for the whole day to get this damn train, I had had to check out of my room at 11am and had been essentially homeless for all of that time, naturally I wanted to sleep.
Anyhow, Rio, a Japanese guy who was in St Petersburg on business waited for me to depart, and whilst he was there I asked him to take a photo of me by the train……
If you look hard, i am behind all of those people.....Thanks Rio, it’s a keeper that one…..
Arriving at St Petersburg, the Russian anthem played again, I had had a good sleep and was ready to tackle Moscow and the Moscovites…..Bring it on!!
A Smiling Russian???? Never!!!
Inside the Cabin....