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A Trans-Siberian Diary: Day 5

sunny

As we've neared Mongolia the landscape has changed again - much more mountainous and dry.

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Leaving Russia has meant that we've made relatively little progress today. After lunch we stopped for around three hours as our passports were collected and the train was searched. We were allowed to get off so we walked up and down the platform. The masses of hawkers promised in our guidebook were nowhere to be seen and we needed food, so we ventured away from the platform and found a shop. But with no windows and a sign in Cyrillic, it wasn't obvious to us at first that it was a shop. Only people leaving with plastic bags filled with food gave it away.

Once inside, it was like going back in time - everything was behind the counter, apart from bottles of drinks in refrigerators, and these appeared to be locked. Only when we gestured to them did the shop assistant reach to an unseen button and open them remotely. When it came to selecting our food we had to point and hope we were ordering the right thing. We wanted crisps, so pointed to a large bag of what looked like Wotsits. Only when we got back to the train did we realise that we'd actually just bought a breakfast cereal, which tastes like, well, sweet Wotsits. Quite nice actually.

Eventually the train moved, and we were across the border. But almost straight away we stopped again and had to go through the whole process again. The train moved forwards and backwards a few times - we weren't sure why - but thankfully we were on the move again more quickly than at the Russian border.

Posted by shoestring 08:46 Archived in Russia Tagged train border russia shop trans-siberian mongolia diary

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I hope Ben remembered to smile inanely at the borders so they'd recognise him in his passport!
Glad you had a good journey xx

by frances ray

Pleased to see your blogs again and to know all went well. The cabin looks very small just as well you didn't have to share it with two other people you didn't know.
Look forward to seeing your blogs from China. If you have time I think it will be interesting to contact some of the people on the list Chris gave you.
Love you loads Mum xxxx

by Hazel Eldridge

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