3. Preparation to Get on Trans-Siberian Train – Rossiya 002
Couple years after my long distance Indian train travel in 2008, I read about Trans-Siberian train in Russia, a 7 day travel, in travel books from Moscow to Vladivostok. That got me interested. I love the scenery with green trees and lake Baikal in Siberia, peace and quietness, culture and travelers, lengthy time, dining car, train motion, long distance and plain curiosity.
First the experience at Yaroslavsky train station in Moscow on June 17, 2017, Saturday evening. Me and my travel partner (Michael) got to the station at 8:30pm, very early arrival to the station. Our train number 002, Rossiya fast express train, did not leave until 11:45pm. Earlier in the evening, a cab pulled in front of us, and two women passengers were leaving out of the cab. We hailed at the cab. After some discussion, the Russian young driver, looked like he was in late 20’s, friendly and helpful, decided to take us to train station. We wanted to pay up to 350 Roubles, based on my research on guide on Google cab ride. He was speaking in Russian, and we both were talking in English with him. Very funny!
I took my cell phone out and turned on Google Translate from English to Russian for basic conversation for the ride and fare. The young driver said, it may be around 350 to 400 Roubles. We agreed and told him to take us to train station. The traffic was not too bad, because it is Saturday evening. We made sure the driver took us to the right station and stay within the price we agreed. It took him about 25 minutes to get to the station. The fare came up to 450 Roubles. We didn’t mind paying the 450 Roubles, because I paid 250 Roubles as my share. The 7km ride was a much better experience than the nightmare we had with another cab driver, when we arrived at the Red Square, where our apartment was about half a mile from it.
Our experience the day we reached the Red Square Tuesday evening was rainy, overcast and walking around with our bags to find out exactly where our apartment was located. Google Map was no help. when the cab driver approached us, he shown us the charges. 100 Roubles for one KM and 100 Roubles for each minute. Very expensive ride for a half mile and some streets were congested, and we ended up paying 1,500 Roubles, a rip off.