Midnight Train to Moscow

by - 4:24 PM

Do you know that scene from The Big Bang Theory in which Raj tries to convince Sheldon not to come with him by very unconvincingly saying: 'I hate trains'?

Well, that's me right now. I'd like to say that I'm one of the cool kids and don't care much for trains, but in fact I really really really like trains. Especially night trains. I think that's because I have this heavily romanticized idea of a nocturnal Hogwarts Express. I knew my night train from St. Petersburg to Moscow wouldn't be that awesome, but the experience was just screaming to be blogged!

I travelled through the Baltics and Russia with a group of Dutch people, accompanied by a tour guide. A tour guide who didn't speak and couldn't read Russian. Because of this, everyone was panicking at the train station while I wandered off. St. Petersburg train station has a wonderful great hall, which is also a waiting room. It's the kind of Soviet impressive I expected to see in Russia.

When I came back to the still panicking group, I looke at the sign with departure times on it and reported when and from which platform our train would leave. I'd learned Cyrillic and that came in very handy. Sadly, no one listened to me because I'd been vlogging. Half an hour and a lot of panic later we went to the platform I'd named. Of course someone else took credit for it, but there our train was.
Our carriage was the very last on of the reddish train. I say reddish because it was pitchblack out when we boarded, so it might as well have been pink. Okay, not pink, it's still Putin's country, but you know what I mean.
I was boucning up and down the platform with excitement. I couldn't wait to see what the inside of the train would look like, so I peeked through a window - straight into the face of a shirtless guy, which is actually quite normal in Russia.. The guy didn't seem to mind. I did, so I jumped away from the train and waited with checking the compartments out until I'd boarded the train.

Boarding took ages. Mostly because people in general have the annoying habit of blocking hallways instead of entering once they've found their compartment.
My compartment was almost at the end of the carriage, near the toilets. That was actually a big plus, because I could quickly run up to the toilet before a bathroom line could form. The compartment itself was basic: four beds and a tiny table. The beds were bunk beads. Sleeping in the top bunk, I had about half a meter left between bed and ceiling. Yes, that resulted in multiple head butts, but I didn't care. I was excited. I had a real bed in a train, it was freaking awesome.

As the train left the station, I noticed there wouldn't be much to look at during the ride, not just because the Russian night is pure darkness, but also because the Russian landscape is very empty. No specks of light from villages. Nothing. I went to bed early, and that's when the ordeal began. As I said, there were four beds in the compartment. One for me, one for my mom, one for my dad... and one for another woman from our group. Not this woman snored. At first I was okay with this; I had my ear plugs, no problem. Then the woman started to snore louders. By some kind of miracle I managed to fall asleep. Not for long though. The decibel level in our compartment kept rising, making it impossible to even go through the six stages of sleeping near a snorer, heck, even thinking was impossible.
My mom would like to tell you this: 'She snored louder than a boar. At some point I even thought a boar was coming at me from her side of the compartment. After a while I found the courage to wake her up, but she turned around and snored even louder! Around 4am I fled the compartment. I waited on the stairs near the toilet until we arrived in Moscow. You could hear her snore through the walls."
Yes, my poor mom spent most of the train ride on a staircase... She didn't exaggerate. If I hadn't been stuck on the top bunk, I would have fled too.

Either way, I enjoyed my train ride. I looked at the outskirts of Moscow while eating my breakfast that came "ticket included lunchbox" as the Russian paper with bad English translation said. I enjoyed those moments. Night trains are awesome, but next time I'll only board one with people I know and who don't snore.

Stay Awesome!

PS. If you wanna see the train for yourself, you can watch my vlog on the Russia trip right here!

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10 Fellow Ramblers

  1. Ahh I'd love to visit russia one day, although I feel for your poor mother 100%, that would've been horrible. I'm so glad you enjoyed the journey though, despite the snorer! I will catch up on your vlog once my internet is stronger, but it sounds like you had a great time! I'm so excited for my first indian sleeper it's unreal. I love sleeping when travelling - just the idea of falling asleep in one place and waking in another is beautiful to me.


    Anne :) x // www.aportraitofyouth.co.uk

    1. My mom is still not over that night, I think it traumatized her :P
      I need to catch up on your India posts! I was binge reading, but then i realized I was bige reading at such high speed that I didn't take time to take it all in... I hope you're still having a great time there!

  2. I've only been on a train once in my life and it was horrible. It was during Ramadan and we wanted to spend Eid in Islamabad (we were in Karachi at that time) so my parents decided to try out the train. I think the whole journey was like 10 or 14 hours? Anyway, first of all, the AC was up WAYYYY TOO HIGH and I was shivering the whole time. Secondly, I did not dare step down from the bunk because there were cockroaches on the floor. Thirdly, going to the bathroom was a horror story because there were even more cockroaches there!
    Anyway, when we got to Islamabad, I got really sick and then refused to go back by train so the return ticket was cancelled and we went by plane instead xD

    1. *makes mental note to take a plane from Karachi to Islamabad or the other way around instead of a train*
      That is the train ride of my nightmares D:

  3. that sounds so cool! I love trains honestly. I was on one last week going to visit a friend of mine in the suburbs and it was just so calming. I listened to cute acoustic music and stared out the window. I really adored it.

    your trip sounds fascinating!

    1. I do the same thing when I travel by train! Makes me feel like I'm in a music video :P

  4. I have only ever been on a train ONCE in my entire life - I spent it listening to music and writing and gazing out the window. Honestly, one of my favourite ways to travel.

    (P.S - Raj <3)

    1. I hope you'll get the chance to travel by train again soon then :)

  5. The whole world is pretty much beautiful and there is a place called Moscow considered one of the most prominent to lift up its beauty a bit more. A few months ago I had visited this city with my lover. At that time we contacted Happy Moscow Tours. We enjoyed our trip with the help of this agency.


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