Time to write something again. Recently I handed in my Bachelor Thesis and will hopefully finish my studies soon, as I already planned my next new project: exploring Canada! But before I will go there I still have to tell you some stories about Russia. Alongside the excursion, to the Altay I spent one more week there and experienced some interesting stuff. Even if the least interesting stuff happened on the journey from Barnaul to Moscow, I still wanted to write this article about it, because traveling in Russia is something really special.
The journey to Moscow took us about 56 hours. So from the very beginning. We started in the evening in Barnaul and had a couple hours to get to Novosibirsk, where we had our only changeover. Already on this part of the journey, we earned some prying eyes, as it was really uncommon that there are foreigners on the normal public trains. Without any way to communicate we were limited on only looking back. The first part of the journey was really relaxing and comfortable. But later it got really exhausting. In the middle of the night, we arrived at Novosibirsk and had to wait for our connecting train. This train would be our home for the next 48 hours until we would arrive in Moscow. During those 48 hours nearly nothing interesting happened. Before we started the journey we were really excited about traveling through amazing landscapes and getting different impressions about Russia. The reality was another one. We actually saw nothing special. Like somebody has drawn a line with a ruler on the map of Russia the rails went through the vast, flat and always same country. Forests, Fields and Pastures as far as you could see. Supporters of the Flat-Earth-Society would have had great chances of convincing people of their opinion there. Instead of beautiful landscapes we had to get used to this monotonous environment. At least some stops of about 45 minutes in the bigger cities brought some variety. There we could see the railroad stations and buy some new food.
The situation in the train was soporific as well. We still were the only foreigners and had no real possibilities to communicate with the other passengers. We often wished it wouldn’t be like that because the way those people there were taking the train was kind of different to the long-distance traffic we knew from Germany. Because of the long distances and the averagely small income, most of the Russians receive, they can only rarely afford to visit their families or move somewhere else. Yeah, you heard right, they seemed to move by train sometimes. At least it felt like that because quite a number of passengers had a huge amount of luggage with them. We once found ourselves in the situation, that we had to find some place along a huge flat-screen, a big milk churn and a lot of bags and suitcases. Of course, we had the places on the upper beds, because we did not know how to book those on the lower floor, so we sometimes didn’t even had space to sit downstairs and had to lay on our beds also during daytime.
To be honest, I was really happy when we finally arrived in Moscow at 2 AM. It was really different from what I expected, but I’m also glad that I made this experience. With only small comfort I explored many different facets of Russia, but I don’t regret it.