As I mentioned, we braved the unknown (to us) world of the Moscow Metro to make our way to the Leninskaya railway station for our train trip to Saint Petersburg.
The Metro is very deep underground (100m +), with some very elaborate marble and granite stations, and crowds of pushing people. Unlike the very civilised queues in London and most other places. it seems to be a case of ‘everyone for themselves’ in Moscow. Queue-jumping is a way of life here; just remember to look very glum-faced while doing it.
As in many places in Russia, we were obliged to pass through a metal detector and have our baggage X-rayed before accessing the train. Nearly everyone sets off the metal detector as they pass through it, but no-one is ever stopped for any further check. The baggage X-ray is very perfunctory – no need to take out computers or show liquids in a separate bag. I never felt any more secure after these checks – and maybe even less so.
The ‘high speed’ train was about the same standard as Queensland’s Tilt-Train, and nothing to write home about. Much of the countryside was as flat and ordinary as the thousands of kilometres of it that we had already seen in Siberia. But we arrived in Saint Petersburg on time, and quickly found our luxurious Ibis hotel, just a few hundred metres from the station.
More from Saint Petersburg in the next post.