Monday 20th February 2017

Today we commenced the long train journey from Moscow to Hong Kong. This first leg had us depart from Moscow Paveletsky Station on an 18 hour overnight journey to Volgograd, 1071km to the south.

We are in a first class compartment with a la carte meals served to your own table. Between us we ate chicken with buckwheat salad and a beef stew in its own decorated ‘marmite’ style container, accompanied by some very good wine!

We have crossed the last remnants of the North European Plain, through silver birch forests and large isolated settlements, many of them on bluffs above frozen rivers.

As we write we are departing from Gryazi-Voronezhskie where the locomotive has been changed and the train checked in readiness for 11 hours of travel through the night. This settlement has a large railway station and stall selling provisions for the journey. The snow here is certainly deep, crisp and even with the well-trodden platforms, at 9:00 p.m. covered with frozen slush.

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