The Train to Mongolia We got up at 4:00 am as we were on the 5:05am train out of Irkutsk. Before we could leave the hotel, the lady who looked after the floor had to inspect our room to make sure we had not trashed it - not sure how she was going to tell as trashing it would have been an improvement.On the train we were sharing our compartment with 2 other Brits who had come through the Ukraine and southern Russia. We managed to get a couple of hours sleep after which we were looking out of the window. The line at this point runs along the southern edge of the lake - the scenery would have been great but the weather had already closed in. After Ulan Ude, we left the main Russian line to Vladivostok and turned south. The scenery started to change - rolling hills with very few trees.We arrived at the border at 6:00pm. There had been a flurry of activity prior to this with some Mongolian traders moving boxes of stuff up and down the train - assume it is some kind of customs scam. The lower half of a mannequin also appeared in the corridor next to us - don't know what that was about! It then took 5 hours to clear the Russian side - don't know what took so long as the procedure was the same as entry - 2 passport checks, a customs man asking if we had guns or drugs and a search of the compartment. After we cleared the Russian border, there was another flurry of activity from the Mongolians moving all the boxes back. The Mongolian border checks took 2 hours but here you could not get off the train and the toilets were locked. By the time we got going, everyone was very relieved (literally) as we had spent the last of our roubles at the Russian border on beer and this was taking effect.