Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Day 8 - Moscow Morning and the beginning of the Trans Siberian
Got up early to make up for lost time yesterday but also to allow time in the morning to get some accommodation sorted for the next part of my journey in Siberia and Mongolia. Being without internet for a few days will be strange but also refreshing I would expect.
I decided to head back to the Red Square and take it from there. I ended up walking along the main shopping streets with very expensive boutique shops of all kinds of brands. What I found surprising is that some even have their own cafes, like 'Versace Cafe' or 'Emporio Armani Cafe'. Guess anything to feel special and brand loyal even when stopping for coffee.
Despite setting off earlier to have time for photography, I was mostly walking around taking in the city but not many pictures. Maybe I should have gone to a different part of the city or planned things better but I thought that I got the pictures I wanted yesterday. Sometimes it's also nice to just take in a place without having to see it via an LCD screen.
Before heading to Yaroslavskiy station to get train number 2 to Irkutsk, had brunch at the same place I had lunch yesterday. It is cheap and has nice sandwiches, pies, coffee and very nice fresh smoothies. In case you're interested its called 'Ludi kak ludi' and it's worth a stop for a quick bite.
Heading to the station, it started to dawn on me that this will not be just a overnight train journey but one lasting 3 days. I kind of hoped my travel companions would at least speak enough English to have a chat or maybe some other tourists but I ended up sharing the compartment with a Russian family not speaking any English and neither did the attendants. This promised to be a fun experience as I could only half get what the attendant was saying with respect to the food and other things but this is after all the fun and interesting part of travel in foreign countries.
When you are reading this, I will have completed this journey so will probably know the answer to the question. Right now however as I am typing this, while having a beer in the restaurant car, I am curious how I will spend all the time in the train. It might mean you will have a lot of text to read, assuming people not only look at the pictures. ;)
This train is not quite as luxurious as the 'Red Arrow' but quite clean and comfortable overall. There are other trains going the same route but they don't seem quite as nice from my brief impressions at the station.
Finishing my GR review will certainly be one thing to do as will be writing more about my travel, preparations for it and how my equipment is holding up and has served me so far. I have to apologize to the people coming here for the pictures if there will be more text than usual in the coming days (or by now days past).
Despite my reservations about taking pictures through train windows, it is at times the only option to capture the passing landscape. Here the TAv mode on tbe GR works great as it allows me to set a fast enough shutter speed and low aperture to get enough in focus. You can see my results in this post and in the next posts.