Day 6: Trans-Siberian railway

Krasnoyarsk Travel Blog

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view from the train


 

Our German neighbours had manage to arrange us a shower! The first class carriage contains a shower cabin, and as the train was fairly empty (I think only one or two first class compartments were occupied), we were able to use the shower for a small fee.

I must say, it is quite an experience trying to shower in a moving, shaking, train, but after more than 72 hours without one (last shower was before checking out of our Moscow hotel on Tuesday morning) this one constitutes as one of the best in my life!

At the first big stop of the day, Krasnoyarsk, Maciek met a guy of Polish descent with a sad story to tell. His grandparents had been banished to Siberia during the Stalin era. He now lives pretty much alone with no family and without a nationality.

Krasnoyarsk station

He is officially Russian, but he doesn't feel Russian.  He is not allowed to go back to Poland (Polish authorities won't allow him due to strict immigration laws) so meanwhile he is pretty much stuck here, living in an industrial city halfway Siberia with a job as train-brake-tester (i.e. walking past every train, hitting the wheels with a sledgehammer - day in day out, all year long).

The remarkable thing is that this guy spoke perfect English - it is quite a rarity for Russians to speak English, and even more so Russians holding a job like his. I mean, staff working on the train don't speak a word of English, but the guy checking the brakes does... weird!

Maciek was visibly moved after hearing this story. During my childhood Russians were portrayed as the bad guys, but they never really felt like a real threath.

stocked up on food again
During Maciek's childhood in Warshaw this threath was ofcourse much more a reality. He has a genuine hatred for the Russians and understandably so. All the more special that he is doing this trip all by himself.

Ilanka station was another gem. Not so much the architecture of the station, but the atmosphere!
There were many food peddlers here, selling many different types of home cooking: Siberian dumplings, fried fish patties, several types of potatoes, bliny's with cottage cheese - we certainly managed to find a great picknick here!

With some lukewarm beers (locally brewed Bavaria??) to wash it down our last meal on the train was a genuine feast!

Devika1985 says:
ow.. geweldig hoe iedereen allemaal mensen ontmoet en dan elkaar verhalen hoort..

en ja haha maf dat hij zo goed engels sprak..
soms verwacht je dat echt niet inderdd.. geef die man een baan als gids :D
Posted on: Jun 03, 2008
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view from the train
view from the train
Krasnoyarsk station
Krasnoyarsk station
stocked up on food again
stocked up on food again
leaving Krasnoyarsk
leaving Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk
fresh home-made dumplings...
fresh home-made dumplings...
...and some genuine Russian beer
...and some genuine Russian beer
Krasnoyarsk
photo by: Biedjee