Wicked Winterfrost

On The Train Again

Posted in Mongolia, Russia, Trans-Siberian by talikas on June 10, 2009

james

Even though we were dead tired after the Baikal adventures, it was hard to fall asleep because both of us were overexcited about finally seeing Mongolia. Even in the morning at 5 AM on our Irkutsk-Ulanbaator train, we were lying on our bunkbeds in wagon number 5 with eyes wide open and dreaming about vast green steppes, wild horses and distant mountains. We happened to share our train with our English friend James whom we had met earlier in the Moscow-Irkutsk train. Despite getting no fish from Baikal and losing both his tent and sleeping bag on the way, James was glowing positive energy and proved once again to be a great travelling companion.

The train ride took about 26 hours, 6 hours of which we spent on the Russian-Mongolian border filling out tens and tens of different papers. Compared to the Moscow-Irkutsk train, where we saw only 3 tourists, this train was rather popular with Belgian, French, English and Australian travellers. Juliette managed successfully to hide her nationality and not become buddies with the (snobbish looking :P) French backpackers even though we glued a French flag on our kupé door. Instead, we played cards with Mongolian children, learnt their hkhkhkh-sounding language and got to know a bit more the philosophy of the harsh-looking-but-goodhearted Russian people.

And then, suddenly, it was dark, the French wine turned out to be Moldovian again, Aleksander reminded us “not to put salt on the sugar” and we tried to sleep, sleep, sleep although we were both kind of nervous about the next day…

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