Inside Moscow's Kazansky Station.
16 Ural stands on the platform prior to departure. The even number means it is an eastbound train.
Penny and Bruce rode in this coach.
The 16 “Ural” train left from Moscow’s Kazansky Station.
We started out in the Beta Hotel as before, had breakfast, packed up,
and checked out at noon. The driver arrived at 1430 and took us to the
Kazansky train station. We boarded Train 16 “Ural” for Yekaterinberg. The
ride went well, and the train staff were very kind. The chief povodnitsa gave
each of us as a souvenir, one of the little pins that the Ural train crew
members wear on their uniforms. We took pictures at some of the stops.
Lots of people milling about, buying snacks and souvenirs.
Accommodations on the 16 “Ural” were good, as was the food. Most passengers bought
things to eat during station stops, as Butch Sly is about to do here.
We arrived at Yekaterinberg on time and were met by the local tour
guide, a pleasant young lady named Yadia. It turns out that tonight (August
16) the city is celebrating its 285th birthday and there is a big celebration
scheduled including fireworks. That is the good news.
The bad news is that the hotel arrangements are not what Sundowners
stated on their itinerary. We are scheduled to depart for Irkutsk on Monday,
August 18, at around 0400. Fair enough as far as the train schedule goes.
But they only booked one night in the Park Inn instead of the two nights
promised in the Sundowners itinerary. We are expected to remain in the
hotel lobby with our luggage all night long until the van takes us to the train
station. That would mean three days with no shower. Two is bad enough.
So far, Alaine has been unable to reach anybody at Sundowners because it is
the weekend. This is most unsatisfactory, and Strike Two on Sundowners as
I see it. I am especially concerned now about the post-Beijing part of the
trip. Penny had a tough time with breathing last night on the train. And the
“Ural” 16 was nice train! A two night ride of three of us in a four-berth
room from Xi’an to Kunming makes me wonder.