A Night On The Trans Siberian

posted by: Justin

Despite the hassle of packing our bicycles in boxes yet again, our second Russian train journey (this time between Perm and Novosibirsk) was much more relaxing than the alternative of cycling 2,000 kilometres through mosquito infested swamplands.

Besides eating a wide range of snacks, gazing out the window and playing a mega champion game of Gin Rummy (Emma won) these are some of the other highlights of our short Trans Siberian experience:

  • Within minutes of the train pulling out of Perm a fellow passenger clad in typical Russian camouflage clothing gave us a gift of our first ever un-shelled pine nuts, our verdict? delicious but a lot of effort, how do the bears do it?
  • Sharing our berth was a mother and her extremely well behaved young son. They shared a few words and some chocolates with us
  • Word quickly spread through our carriage that we were from NZ and had huge boxes with bicycles inside (not flat screen TVs like most people had assumed)
  • A lady a few seats down excitedly brought us the magazine she was reading which had an article about New Zealand. Amazingly one of the photos was taken from close to Justin’s house in Devonport, Auckland but I don’t think we managed to convey how weird this was
  • After a few stops we discovered the train schedule showing how long the train would halt at each station and realised some longer stops of 20mins plus would give us time to leave the train and station. In Omsk we nipped outside for some yoghurt and snacks
  • During the Omsk stop we saw four huge St. Bernard dogs emerge from a carriage a few down from ours with their tiny owners in tow. We wonder about the fuss over our bikes in comparison to the huge dogs

Not much else to report, so here are some glimpses of the 2,000 kilometres that we didn’t cycle:


View from train window

View from train window

Dogs from train

View from train window

Our train's engine

View from train window

Platform vendors

Omsk station panorama

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route map for this post

The map below shows the waypoints for this blog post. To view the details of our trip to date take a look at our complete route map.