Food available on the Rossiya train in Siberia

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Restaurant Car on the Rossiya Train

We've just had our only disappointing meal since being in Russia. Only disappointing in so much as value for the money spent. It was a tiny quantity of food and cost us greatly.

It was also such very slow service. I don't think we will be doing the same tomorrow night for dinner. No wonder these first class dining cars are usually almost empty. Never mind – we have to try these things so we can report about them on this web site.


Interior of the restaurant car Interior of the restaurant car
Big steps to climb Big steps to climb up and down to get food

At lots of railway stations we saw Babushkas selling food. I think this is a source of well needed income for them. They are middle aged and older ladies with baskets of easily transportable home-made or home-grown food. When a train is due in at the platform they appear with their food and tables and set up for business. During the evening we knew we had a 30 minute stop coming up so we decided to hop off and have a look at their wares.


Kiosks at stations Kiosks commonly seen at railway stations
Babushkas selling food Babushkas selling their wares










Ever security conscious, we ask a Provodnitza to lock our compartment door for us. Ian has his camera ready and we have plenty of cash in small denominations to buy items. The Provodnitza locks the door and then wanders back down to her hidey-hole compartment at the end of the carriage. No sooner had she gone than Ian realizes his camera battery has gone flat. There is an old loco he particularly wants to photograph on the platform. I don't have my camera on me which is unusual. The battery from my camera is currently in our compartment in the re-charger. So, we had to go back to the Provodnitza again, ask her to unlock the door but to stay close by as all we needed to do was grab the battery out of the re-charger and shove it in to my camera. She complies but is very surly. The other Provodnitza is quite a nice girl - always cheery to us. But then maybe she owes us a bit of cheer seeing as she was the one who mislaid our tickets when we first climbed on board the train.


A typical village Typical village along the train route
Stunning station buildings One of many beautiful railway station buildings











Once down on the platform we quickly bought ourselves two tomatoes and a small cucumber already done up in a bag. It cost 50 Rb. which is about $1.90 AUD. We really wanted to buy fruit but couldn't see any. Other Babushkas were selling marshmallows in the shape of ice creams, dried fish, spring onions, radishes, cold meats and doughy things with meat in them. The doughy things might have been nice but we really didn't fancy them at nearly 10 p.m.

Long evenings in Russia

We find the long evenings quite strange. Who would think you could be standing outside on a platform at 10 p.m. when it was still very much daylight. We are not used to that in Australia. We saw lots of tiny villages, seemingly miles away from other habitation. We also saw many graveyards close to the track. The predominant colour in the graveyards was the same bright blue we saw windows painted in village houses.

Track-side cemetery with its predominant blue colour Typical track-side cemetery
Little village Small track-side village










Time for bed

Back on the train we attempt to prepare ourselves for bed. The water coming out of the tap in the loo is now quite brown. It doesn't smell but has changed my flannel to a delightful brown colour – charming. Tonight we have made our beds up the way they should be made so hopefully we will sleep better. I have a really rotten sore throat so I hope to feel better come morning. I decide to take a Restavit tablet to ensure I sleep well because I haven't done so since we left home.


Next page - Forest scenery of Siberia


Our trip in the order it happened:

Travel Planning Necessities
World time zones, world weather, currency converter, language translator services.

Search over 25,000 hostels.

Trip Advisor Forum - Russia
The place to find information about Russia when you can't find it elsewhere.

Way To Russia
Another very good forum

Getting A Russian Visa
The process is explained

Trains between Moscow & Saint Petersburg
Explanation of the types of trains on that route.

Firmenny Trains
An explanation of what they are.

Moscow's Railway Stations
A map of their locations and proximities.

Learn How To Speak Russian
Free lessons.

Map of St. Petersburg
Lonely Planet's map of the city.

Map of Moscow
Lonely Planet's map of the city.

Moscow Times Newspaper
English version.

The Russia Club
A forum for all those interested in anything "Russian".

Russian Rail Timetable
It takes a bit of mastering but Ian managed it (eventually).

The Art Of Travel
Very interesting travel information for all locations.

Smart Traveller
Australian Government's site dealing with current travel advice.

Travel Independent
A site written by travellers for travellers. Lots of information.

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