Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Hidden Chicken

Our first taste of the Trans-Siberian railway: a 28 hour journey from Moscow to Yekaterinburg. I've been wanting to ride this train since I was 19 years old.
The back of our loooong train
Sammy immediately fell in love with our little 1st class compartment. Don't be fooled by the '1st class' moniker - it doesn't mean anything particularly fancy; just that we get the compartment to ourselves, instead of sharing the tiny space with two more people.
Your home for 1,100 miles
After settling in, we headed for the buffet car - which turned out to be a highlight of the trip. The buffet car had, without question, the most awesome menu I've ever read in my life. The selection of dishes included:

  • Soup modular
  • Ear "Fishing"
  • The Hidden Chicken
Excuse the terribly blurry photo below - it was all we could manage before the waitress came to take the menu away.
She's coming! She's coming! Take the photo quick or it's rude...
The descriptions of each dish were just as fabulous:

  • "Soup the modular meat, moves with mayonnaise and parsley"
  • "Beef, tomato, prunes. Moves in a pot."
  • "Beef fried with onions. Moves with a boiled potato."

In the end, naturally intrigued, we both opted for The Hidden Chicken.
Find the chicken
Thoroughly refuelled, we staggered back to our carriage, and watched the sunset from our little compartment.
This was a nice moment
And on drawing the curtains, Sammy decided that she could definitely do more of this 'adventuring by train' malarkey.

More like this, please
I can't say it was the most comfortable night's sleep in the world. The beds were so narrow that there was no conceivable sleep-position which didsn't result in at least one of my limbs dangling off the bed.

We spent most of the next day, still on the train, dozing. Weirdly, we slept much better after swapping beds...
Dozy but cozy

We finally arrived in Yekaterinburg six hours ago. We're both suffering with colds, which is a pain, so haven't been overly adventurous. Currently we can tell you exactly two facts about Yekaterinburg:

1. Our hotel is designed to look like a hammer and sickle when seen from above. (Constructivist architects were nuts for this sort of thing.) We are literally living in propaganda:
Iset in Ekaterinburg, Russia
Hotel, comrade
2. Some restaurants here entice potential customers by placing stuffed animals, in human dining situations, in their windows:
Admit it, you're hungry

We'll post more if and when we get out of bed tomorrow. <Sniffle, cough.> Otherwise we'll mostly be stocking up on Lemsip.

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