By Uma Iyer
“I took the route from Mongolia to Moscow and every place I stayed over or ‘chugged’ along was stunning”.
A once in a lifetime experience –an understatement for one of the most spectacular rail journeys in the world and I travelled through ‘The Wanderers’ with the wonderful assistance of Farzana, who helped plan the itinerary for me and guided me with all important information.
To begin with, it is how meticulously it is planned and also how perfect the entire rail experience was for me – from the comfortable first class cabin to the clean rest rooms, the endless supply of hot water (to make chai or have cuppa noodles), the kind and caring cabin attendant of our coach – all essential to make a rail journey unforgettable for the right reasons!!
As I traversed on from country to country and city to city – it was like leaving a part of yourself there. The vast plains of Mongolia to the beautiful fall colors of Siberia and not to forget the six different time zones that one crosses in a span of 16 days !! That’s when it hits you – how massive a country Russia is. For me the most beautiful sights were the fall colors – a sight to die for and Lake Baikal. Of course, the usual sights of the Kremlin, Red Square – steeped in history, evoked many memories of Leon Uris’s books, which I had read as a child.
Last but not the least, the famous Moscow Metro – not just a place which transports people from one place to another, but also carries you back in Russian history and every station is a colorful and grand link to the past.
Even though literally that journey came to an end, it is far from over for me. When you lose your soul to such a beautiful experience, the part that stays back with you – always keeps searching for the part that’s been left behind.
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