Tonight’s post is for one of my friends because I managed to take lots of train related photographs today.
After a wander around Yekaterinburg, visiting the market for snacks and having brunch, it was time to head towards the railway station.
I was off to Tyumen, a journey that would take five hours.
I’ve got the hang of this now.
Go through the security check then head for the Departures Board. Look for the train’s number, because even though the Board flickers between English and Cyrillic, I can’t read the ticket information (it it’s even included) about the train’s ultimate destination.
These are trains that can take days to get their final destination. (Maybe Beijing will be the ultimate point of the journey when I leave Ulaanbataar?)
Next, note that there is both an arrival time and a departure time. We’re not having that anxiety again.
So far I have been lucky with 30 minutes embarking time when I’ve boarded the Trans Siberian trains.
Today, the 30 minutes allowed me plenty of time to get the seat and carriage numbers muddled up and go to the wrong end of the train.
And I said I’d got the hang of this…
No matter, by the time I got to the correct carriage, the provodnitsa hadn’t started checking tickets.
Ticket checked, I climbed on.
The seat numbers are on the backs of the chairs… something I realised after I discovered the remnants of an abandoned picnic in what I thought was my seat.
The three bears are never around when you need them.
I took my actual seat.
Reminiscent of those more famous picnicers, Yogi and Booboo, the seat dwellers returned. About an hour into the journey, the one sitting directly behind me started to make belching noises like he was about to be sick.
“This could get messy,” I thought, imagining the worst.
The man sitting across the aisle from me grimaced sympathetically.
Fifteen minutes later there were three security guards questioning the men behind me. I think they suspected they were slightly the worse for wear, as they sniffed all of their drinks containers.
The security guards left and all went quiet, for the rest of the journey… until they somehow managed to smash their drinking glasses.
The provodnitsa was not impressed.
Security did not return.
The train made a number of stops and many passengers disembarked to stretch their legs, scour for supplies – most platforms have fairly large kiosks selling food, a lot of it homemade – or just get some fresh air.
I haven’t yet built up the nerve to, one, leave my stuff on the train and, two,have a short walk at the different stopping points. What if I get left behind?
The journey from Yekaterinburg to Tyumen passed through similar landscapes to the previous journey… mostly forest, the Autumn colours looking fabulous.
As we entered Siberia, there were more fields containing, not corn, possibly wheat. There were also more villages of wooden houses.
Sunset was rapidly approaching as the train arrived into Tyumen.
As I climbed off the train, several passengers dashed across the tracks to avoid using the footbridge. While the oncoming train was apparently coming in slowly, I didn’t fancy trying to cross the tracks with my rucksack.
I’d prefer to avoid being a cautionary tale.
*Featured Photo: Monument to the Volunteers of the Urals Tank Corp in front of the Railways Station in Yekaterinburg.
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