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Published: June 21st 2017
Geo: 47.2, 39.6593
The train turned out to be quite fun, there are four beds in these second class Sleeper carraiges, no first class on the Vladikavkaz to Rostov train, and none left on the Rostov to Kiev. So my first travelling companion was a Russian lawyer, (advocate it said on his business card - in Russian of course, who spoke some English and we got on very well, he was full of questions about England, why did I not have to carry identity papers like him?, what was the average house price etc. At the first stop we were joined by two Russian air force officers, who spoke no English and at least one of them seemed to resent the fact that I had come to Russia without being able to speak Russian, but he clearly had no idea of tourism because he wanted to know where in Russia my family lived. Between the two of them they had a mountain of food including a roast chicken, and two bottles of vodka. What with my lawyer friend buying me beers and them offering vodka and chicken and the guy from two compartments down, who says he is an actor singer in
musical theatre but struck me as much too tubby for that, offering fish and salad I fared pretty well. The senior air force guy called his daughter, aged 11, to tell her he was with an englishman and insisted on putting my phone number in his phone, so I may get some odd calls from his daughter.!
And I managed to get some sleep. But it gets pretty hot and sticky in those spaces with four people in them. And I have the same tonight, though I think I get a bottom bunk tonight which will be good because this is an 18 hour ride.
Too late to cancel the Rostov hotel but they did let me turn up at 7am so I got to shower and have a bit more sleep and recover from the first train before embarking on the second.
Still no pics, I only have some of the gorge at the border and one or two of Vladikavkaz station, and it's raining cats and dogs here in Rostov so there may not be any from here either. Better check the forecast for Kiev!
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