Top class train for last big leg: Trans Ural Express - even had a carriage attendant who was really pleasant but why did she gave to do the big 'buy these souvenirs' thing? Really weird actually as she kept going on when it was clear to all that no one understood a bloody word what we were saying to each other! Any who, small matters!
Turned out we'd bought a ticket which included dinner being brought to our cabin, with wine - very exciting so I got dressed for dinner: best Welsh rugby T shirt and shorts! Was nice to be eating like that in our cabin but food was... unexceptional ... Georgian cuisine has set such a high standard that nothing will compare favourably!
Had a couple of great emails from colleagues and one from Gundhu in Brunei which made me laugh! Emailed Kev C today about UK catch ups - time is going to be really tight, hope dates work out.
Comfy, if fitful sleep. Woke up to ... Silver birch but things changing the closer we get to Moscow.
What a bonus - on a premium first class carriage again but this time 2 meals included which we didn't know about (one a lunchbox and the other evening dinner). Luckily the first touring group that had been on our train from Beijing to Ulaan Baatar was on our train again, and their tour leader was able to translate for us- otherwise we would not have had a clue!
We had to put up with a smiling cabin attendant YES -SMILING!! coming into our cabIn repeatedly trying to sell us food and souvenirs to begin with, but she soon gave up, and we settled into familiar positions looking out the window, using our IPads, drinking cups of boiling hot tea with no milk.
Landscape changed from very dense forests of pine, birch and other mixtures as we went through the Urals to flat areas of wheat and hay and then forests again Homes in the country are still made in the traditional wooden style in small circular settlements.
Dinner was delivered to our cabin by the attendants - Entree of coleslaw and chicken or minced beef plus rice, pickled cucumber for Mains. We filled up on ham, cheese and biscuits from our stash as we were still hungry! Made our beds up and listened to my new audio book ( finished first book) waiting for the light to go (stays light until 10pm). Huw watched another movie in his laptop. Awoke at 1.30am as the train came to an abrupt halt into a station. People are getting on and off at all hours of the night all the time - didn't go back to sleep again and as soon as I heard stirrings from the other passengers, down to the hot water urn to get a hot cup of tea!