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Reisverslag Saint Petersburg - Moscow - Train ride to Irkutsk
10 september 2014
Saint Petersburg - Moscow - Train ride to Irkutsk
After two excellent performed flights by Estonia air (Amsterdam-Tallin-Saint Petersburg) I arrived in Russia. On the airport there was an Russian bloke waiting for me to transport me to my hostel. It didn't take long before my first expectation of Russia to take place. After seeing countless of dashboard videos they really all do drive if there is no tomorrow. Constantly switching lanes, speeding from traffic light to traffic light and what seems to be there favorite toy pressing the horn.
After arriving in the hostel and meeting the "Honcho" (meaning tour guide) Vladimir and 7 Australian (Jonathan, Paul, Flin, Bushy, Fiona, Patrick and Aron) we went of to an restaurant for an introduction and waiting for two Irish people (always waiting for the Irish... just kidding). They arrive 30 minutes later and there names are Jd and Una.
We went to an other restaurant for dinner were we ate an local dish named dumblets. After just one round of beers the restaurant was out of stock... So of to the pubs to drink some more. Around 2 o'clock most of us pulled the plug and went to bed. During the night there was an Australian lumberjack active in our room sawing (snoring) his way through the Siberian forests, with decibels rising up to an equivalent of the take of of an airplane, barely giving us our well deserved rest.
The next morning I went to explore Saint Petersburg together with Vladimir, the Irish, Bushy and Fiona. We visited some popular places like the Hermitage museum, Nevsky Prospect, Kazan Cathedral and the monster museum. After a long day of walking we ate an pizza and went to bed early, this time without any snoring going on.
After some porridge in the morning I went to the Saviour on the Blood (church), Artillery museum and went up the +/- 200 steps of the St. Isaac Cathedral. The cathedral gave me a beautiful view across the city that has a lot of history in it. In the evening we had an group dinner at an restaurant that served classic dishes, which was delicious. After all the impressions the last two days it was time to move on and get in the first night train to Moscow.
After an conferrable night in the train we met up with our new Honcho Dimitry at the train station. A quick checkin at the hostel and it was time to set my first steps in the Moscow city center. We walked to the red square were the famous leader Lennon of the Soviet Union is on display. He died approximately 90 years ago but he looks like if he just stopped breathing yesterday. In the afternoon we went to Gorkey park were we chilled out a bit.
During this time we started to notice that our honcho was a bit of an womanizer (in training :)) trying to flirt with everything that has an pulse. Constantly walking around with his phone and using the dating app Tinder. When he would see a girl sitting he would just stand next to her and say absolutely nothing... Quite an interesting technic, must be something Russian ;).
After eating some pizza bread we decided to call it a day and save our strength for the next day.
In the morning we met with our honcho in a restaurant for breakfast. We decided to do tree things: visit a nuclear proof bunker, go to a firing range and go clubbing. The bunker was really cool, it was 56 meters underground and had four different tubes. There was also equipment to launch a nuclear missile. They set up a demo with the procedure to launch a nuke on the USA...
After seeing the total destruction of the Yanks we went to the firing range. I never shot a gun before so I decided to choose the biggest sniper rifle available and of course a AK-47. With the sniper rifle I was on target at all time. The AK-47 was a different story, but still a awesome experience though ;).
In the night we went to the RollingStones bar were we had a fun night that ended around 05:30. The next day we had to be ready at 11:00 to catch the train from Moscow to Irkutsk. Everything went according to plan, so of I went.
Moscow - Irkutsk
I was sharing my room with my mate Patrick and with two potential others. The first Russian guy we met really shortly and was not able to speak any English. He got off the train after four hours. After our old mate left in came the next Russian, named Alexander.
Alexander was a typical Russian: totally wasted of vodka, very loud and could not speak one word of English. He actually did not care that I could not understand him, he would just keep on talking. After buying a 1,5 liter bottle of beer at one of the train station and drinking it within 15 minutes he started to get a bit aggressive... At some point he started yelling and grabbing my personal belongings so I kindly asked him to not do that anymore ;). At that point he decided to start harassing other people. Luckily for me the second persons he started yelling at was the attended of the wagon and she decided to kick him off the train straight away. Bye bye Alexander.
Patrick and I had tree other roommates that were way better than Alexander: a Russian guy that does audits at cole mines, a Russian women that is married to an ice hockey referee and a Russian women that has her own cleaning business (+/- 300 employees). Chatting with the business woman was great fun she gave me a complete other view on Russia and I also find it fascinating that she put a lot of effort in communicating with me and Patrick.
The train ride it self was very relaxing, we had loads of fun with each other. At one night we organized a wine party for Patrick because his birthday (9th of September) would be the next day. It was 2 minutes before 00:00 when I realized it was actually the 7th of September instead of the 8th... It didn't spoil the rest of the evening though :).
The view during the trip was beautiful, every time I woke up the landscape would be completely different. The food we ate during the trip was: bread, crackers, cookies and noodles (not very interesting). During the day the most of the time we would be chatting, reading, blogging, watching movies or arguing with the staff of the train. These people desperately need a couple of lessons in customer service... Luckily we had some Russian people backing us up who would do the talking or yelling for us, fascinating to see how they get along with each other in this country.
Foto's bij verslag (18)
10 september 2014 09:26 | Door: Markel
Leuk verslag broertje, goed om te lezen dat je het zo naar je zin hebt!
We missen je wel hoor ;)
Veel plezier , en doe voorzichtig!
10 september 2014 09:37 | Door: anneke beets
Hoi erik, wat een leuk verslag, je hebt al veel gezien en gedaan, leuk om te lezen
10 september 2014 10:42 | Door: Dick Monster
Leuk verslag, Erik!
En goed dat je naar het Monster museum bent geweest.
Nog familie van me gezien?
Geniet van je reis, wij volgen je digitaal.
10 september 2014 11:06 | Door: Koen
Goed om wat van je te horen
Met die gekke Russen maak je altijd wat mee zie je maar weer!
10 september 2014 11:13 | Door: Els
Super Erik. Heerlijk om mee te kijken met je belevenissen.
10 september 2014 11:26 | Door: EriK van der Maarel
Bedankt voor jullie reacties!
Dick Monster: Haha nee Dick geen familie van je gezien! Is maar goed ook want het was niet zo'n fris gezicht. Het zijn namelijk baby's die verminkt waren geboren en vervolgens op sterk water zijn gezet...
Koen: het is inderdaad bijzonder volk die Russen!
10 september 2014 11:51 | Door: Wim
Alexander : familie van Linda in de UK, je weet wel??
10 september 2014 13:12 | Door: Richard
Leuk verslag om te lezen. Het is net of ik een stukje met je meereis. Blijf vooral veel schrijven. We kijken al weer uit naar je volgende bericht.
хорошее путешествие продолжается
10 september 2014 15:48 | Door: Eric Prins
Super om te lezen wat je allemaal beleefd. Vooral doorgaan met schrijven !!
11 september 2014 13:31 | Door: Yuriy
Меня зовут Юрий. Это ваша вина, я отложил на поезд. Но я знаю, что вы до сих пор находят ребенка. Даже если вы путешествуете в Японии, Австралии, Южной Африке и даже Фиджи!
Menya zovut Yuriy. Eto vasha vina, ya otlozhil na poyezd. No ya znayu, chto vy do sikh por nakhodyat rebenka. Dazhe yesli vy puteshestvuyete v Yaponii, Avstralii, Yuzhnoy Afrike i dazhe Fidzhi!
11 september 2014 14:35 | Door: Tiny
Mooie avonturen. Keep up the good work!
Ik lees dat je genoeg pizza eet, dus ik ben apetrots op je.
16 september 2014 17:31 | Door: Lennard van Santen
Mooie stukjes, leest lekker weg. Je neemt ons echt mee op reis. Leuk. Veel plezier. Gr. Lennard
17 september 2014 22:32 | Door: cora
Zojuist in het zonnige en warme Frankrijk je eerste verslag gelezen, Super!!!,
vooral veel blijven schrijven.
Groet, Arnie en Cora