or How the Old Bird nearly broke the Train.

They tap off ice at each station, that’s not my fault!

Well it was bloody hot at night and I saw no problem in prizing open the window a bit. It was difficult to do but I was determined, a right stubborn old bird bent on destruction!


As I drew the curtains the horror of what I had done was immediately evident. Frozen snow drifts were on either side of the window where I had opened it and water had pooled on my table and on the window end of both beds. I snatched my electronic gear away and whimpered as I tried to close the unyielding window. I was in so much trouble.

How bad I felt!!

As I scraped and mopped I could think of no other plan than to confess. They would be furious and I had worked so hard on being the golden girl. I sluiced the worst frozen bits then, after ten minutes of snivelling, ‘fessed up to the tiny but fearsome Marta. She looked coldly at me for theatre, then smirked and got out a mysterious fob key and shut it firmly…… PHEW!! That was really scary you NEVER want to get on the wrong side of Marta!

Top Tip: Never piss off the provodniks. They have the power! Their pride and joy is their carriage and if they take a dislike to you, well, your journey will be , let’s say, difficult. This is their world and you are a passing guest! A migrating bird.

The restaurant car. Not really the Orient Express!

A two hour wait for my lunch (rather early at 11.30 I must confess) allowed time for two beers and a good attack on my diary. I had written little with various excuses being offered by my enabling self, and now would start to attack it. It already looked pretty mauled as I had ripped off the surprisingly heavy cover and the pages were starting to become separated from the binding.

My poor old diary has now been dissected and put into a semblance of order!

By the time my pork medallions with potatoes and wild mushrooms (recipe below) arrived I had written a fair bit along with gazing out the window and drinking beer (the main things I passed my time with on the train!) so decided I would go and have a siesta. I slept for two hours and when I woke the sun was shining and all was well with the world.

Train sleep is the best!


You will love it all, it’s amazing! Read below to explain!

Now here’s the thing. This all sounds a bit dull but a swear it wasn’t! I loved every second. Bare in mind I hadn’t stopped running around like a mad woman in St Petersburg and Moscow, so scurrying around the train and having a breathing space was great.

The long track that is my journey.

I loved gazing out the window and naturally meditating at the swoosh swoosh sound and the snow covered landscape going past. I loved the swaying motion of the train. It all was so soothing and a chance to escape the real world. To ponder the greater mysteries of life and to clear my mind and be at one with myself. I know other people go more for the convivial side of it, but guys how did that work out? Instant noodles and playing cards with barely a glance out the window. It seemed like it was something to be endured not adored Not for me.

Me as usual gazing out of the window

I wanted to suck in this experience warts and all. I wanted to be absorbed by the train and it’s reputation and history not “just do it”


Train pork and wild mushrooms.

It ain’t rocket science but it was yummy and possibly a well covered dish but none the less scrumptious.

  • pork medallions about 3 per person
  • olive oil
  • thinly sliced waxy potatoes
  • half a chopped onion and a clove of crushed garlic
  • a good handful of wild mushrooms sliced
  • sour cream (a bucket :))
  • seasoning

Half cook your medallions in a frying pan with garlic and seasoning . Remove and set aside. As with my other Russian potato recipe fry up your potatoes and onions, this time in the meats cooking juices, until brown and cooked through and in the last minute of cooking add the mushrooms. Put the pork back and flash under grll to brown a little and finish the pork off. Add the sour cream and gently reheat Easy and yum. You can chuck chopped peppers into the mix if you fancy and a drop of red wine, also use low fat sour cream depending if you want to be good girls!