Tuesday 1st August 2017
We had a chilled breakfast, packed the bags, did a bit of cleaning of the airbnb flat, had an early lunch, waited Victoria to give her back the keys and headed to Yekaterinburg train station with an uber. There we did some last minute shopping of magnets, saw a photography exhibitions of Russia’s National Parks inside the train station and waited in the waiting room.
Then we boarded the train for Nizhny Novgorod which departed at 2.23pm.
Here is the map of the last night train journey of 19 hours we were taking from Yekaterinburg to Nizhny Novgorod, covering a distance of 1,230 kilometers roughly. Interestingly, google maps is not able to give me the train journey so I entered the walking journey to see the distance on the map. It is quite a significant distance when looking at the scale of the world!
Zooming in although the train actually goes through the city of Perm.
The train departed and we saw from the windows lots of birch trees again, lakes but also rivers, wooden houses, little hills, churches and small train stations.
In my compartment was a Russian guy called Serguei who lived in Yekaterinburg but was off to Vladimir where he worked a few days each week. Such a long journey to go to work! There was also Kevin, an American guy from Portland, Oregon who had been living in China for four years already and was teaching English there. He was travelling alone on the transsiberian for a month but had asked a tour to organise for him the train tickets and accommodation and was meeting in each city a local guide taking him around the cities.
We compared the quantity of books we had taken with us, both a bit crazy taking with us so much weight when you can take electronic books, but a real paper book remains so nice to hold in your hands!
We stopped in Perm for 50 minutes and dared leave the train with Kevin as he had to buy some dinner.
A Russian girl from Perm, Julia, joined us in the compartment. She was going to Vladimir to visit a friend of hers. She was used to fly Russia and it was actually the first time she was taking the transsiberian train! She asked me: But why are you taking it? And why are you going to stop in Nizhny-Novgorod? There is nothing to see there?? She also didn’t drink alcohol and didn’t like vodka. Best thing was that she was a volley-ball player and played beach volleyball in Perm in summer. That bonded us and we talked beach volleyball for a while. I invited her to come play together in Manly one day when she would come visit Australia! Here she was, contemplating the landscape of her country through the train window.
And the train carried on and on while the night fell. Off to Nizhny-Novgorod!