Moscow – Irkutsk: 5.152 km, 79 hrs, 6 different time zones.
Holy shit. I am mean you read those numbers but seriously the Transsiberian Railway is one hell of a trip. In the morning after the second night on that train we checked our location on Google maps and realised we’re not even halfway to Irkutsk. Of course I have done my research on Russia and how it is the largest country in the world. I had no idea how huge it really is. So many hours of passing through wild and remote areas with only every so often a cluster of houses.
But mostly vast areas of breathtaking sceneries. We basically watched the seasons turn from summer into autumn. Looking out of the window was like watching a video backdrop, showing the changes in season and the landscapes gradually transform from West to East. In Moscow it was very warm, a good 24° degrees, very green trees and grass and flowers blossoming everywhere. Then as we moved West suddenly the trees turned into a stunning almost golden yellow.
What I know is that I am slightly impressed by this train. Of course it is a fairly old train and this is definitely not the train you might know from movies such as Murder on the Orient Express. It is a normal public train with seats that turn into bunk beds.
But not to the extent where you feel like you need disinfect your entire body after using the toilet. Ok, I don’t want sugar coat anything. You definitely want to use hand sanatiser after having used the bathroom and wetwibes are your best friend just like dry shampoo. You don’t want the tap water abywhere near your face. But it’s ok. The member of staff hoovers the cabin everyday and even cleans the ceiling! There is a hot water boiler that looks like something from a labratory and you can take as much as you like for tea, noodles, soup or whatever. Which is perfect as the Scotsman’s got a cold – but no worries he’s taking it like a real man.
Something else that amazes me apart from the scenery and the size of Russia is the fact that from Moscow to Irkutsk we’re passing six different time zones without noticing! You wake up when the sun rises and you get tired when it gets dark. Anyway, you then stop at the most random train station and suddenly woa, different time zone! Honestly how awesome is that? I mean, ok crossing between countries is one thing if you can jump over a border and even be in two countries at the same time. But TIME ZONES?! Please excuse my excitment, but I am absolutely facinated by this!
Problem is you are still trainlagged as f*** and slightly confused by what time it actually really is.
So after three days, four nights, liters and liters of tea and a lot of instant noodles we have arrived in Siberia. I am intrigued by what this part of the world has to offer. So Irkutsk, show me what you’ve got!