Friday, August 17, 2001
Midnight in Russia is actually the middle of the day for us. Despite the lack of sleep, we managed to stay up for another hour to experience the train ride. We got private suites for 600 rubles. (About $20.00) Our room had two skinny "cot-sized" beds. There was a table in between and a window. It had a bottle of water and a bottle of beer on it. I wanted to try the beer but since we were on a Church function, I didn't think it was wise. It was warm anyways. I like it when it is frosty.
Despite the complementary beverages, it wasn't a luxery suite, that is for sure. There was a musty smell and the linens on the beds had stains on them. The beds were merely benches with a thin cushion on top, so no comfort inn here either. I guess we should have felt fortunate. Common cabins had bunks in which four people to a room had to share. I got a peek at one of those and it was a pretty tight squeeze.
There was a hallway outside of our cabin. We had access to the hall windows. We were allowed to open them. It felt very nice to feel the breeze of the Russian air. It was dark, so we couldn't see much but we did notice many power lines and nuclear plants as we whizzed by.
We didn't spend much time looking since there wasn't much to look at. We went back into our cabins to try to get some sleep. The train was so clickety-clackety-rickety-rackety! It was very difficult getting any sleep. At one point it jerked so hard, the water bottle fell off the table and hit Kevin on the head. This went on for about six hours. At one point, I had to use the restroom. Guess what? There was a toilet but it wasn't a flushing toilet. No siree. It opened up to the ground below. Ewwwwww!!!!! I could feel the breeze on my hiny. That was interesting.
When we got off of the train, we had to walk to Posha's apartment. I think we walked about a mile, dragging our entire luggage along with our exhausted bodies. It was 6:00 A.M. When we got to his apartment, we dumped out luggage in a heap and collapsed into whatever beds Posha had .....and slept.