World > Overland > Russia
Being the bridge between Europe and Asia, I was particularly fascinated by this country, although I was to spend 5 straight days on a train rolling through the countryside on steel rails, it was nonetheless a fantastic visit. I had a short stop in Moscow before heading out on the Mongolian train #6 to arrive 5 days later in Ulan Baatar, Mongolia's capital. The trip was broken up by short 20 minute stopovers every 5 or so hours. At this time the travelling Mongolian sellers would meet Russian's from the cities and a 'moving market' would occur on the platforms. Often trading in goods bought from Moscow. This included Vodka, jackets, gloves, shoes and anything else that would stop one from freezing over in the harsh Siberian Winter. It must have been on average -25°. I had the great opportunity to witness these amazing markets, the endless Siberian forests, Lake Baikal, and the dry South close to the border of Mongolia. I got to know some interesting Mongolians and had a chance to glimpse into the life of trade between these two fascinating countries. Forever grateful.
1. Moscow to Perm
From Moscow the train #6 headed South-East, passing through Kirov and ending in Perm at the end of day 1. It was here that I got to see the 'Mongolian moving market' in full swing. Traders sold off all kinds of good to the waiting Russians. It was -27degrees and I was surpirsed at how well they all managed to deal with the cold. With my hands freezing over every time I raised the camera, here are a few moments that I managed to capture.
2. Perm to Yaketerinburg
3. Yaketerinburg to Omsk
4. Omsk to Novosibirsk
Passing through Omsk main station we deepened our journey further into Siberia. Passing through endless pine forests and wide open fields we end in Novosibirsk station by night, where the next installment of the 'Mongolian moving market' took place.
5. Novasibirsk to Krasnoyarsk
Waking up early to the hazy greyscale hues of a snowy Siberian winter, passing through small wooden housed villages, we ended in the grand Krasnoyarsk station in the early morning of the 3rd day.
6. Krasnoyarsk to Tayshet
Between Krasnoyarsk and Tayshet (the Russian and Mongolian frontier) we stopped for one of the biggest platform markets yet. This particular station was full of parked cargo trains transporting mainly oil and wood from the deep south of Russia to the North.
I arrived early into one of Moscows many stations, the air was crisp and this felt like the realt 'start' of the trip. I was lucky enough to spend 12 hours in the city. In this short time I managed to get myself to the relevant station, check my bags into an underground storage shelter and buy myself a Trans-Mongolian Ticket for a fraction of the price of what the European travel agents could sell it to me for. I also visited the Red Square, the Kremlin and St.Basils Cathedral as well as the Cathedral for Christ the Saviour and the GUM state department store. It was a surprisingly beautiful city with churches galore, hard faced Russians, security guards EVERYWHERE and some very interesting Soviet architecture. Then as the sun went down it was time to start my venture across Siberia, a 5 day epic train ride, with minimal 20 minute breaks.