Train from Krasnoyarsk to Novosibirsk, 3379km to Moscow, 7495km to London

Every overnight train I’ve taken since Beijing has involved another time change. This one is no exception, changing from Krasnoyarsk time (Moscow +4) to Novosibirsk time (Moscow +3.) You get to thinking in terms of offsets from Moscow time on the Trans-Siberian since all long distance trains run on Moscow time. My train left at 18:15 (really 22:15) and gets in at 6:20 (really 9:20.) Confused yet?

Krasnoyarsk is a nice, laid back city.. a good place to spend a day and a half off the train. I saw the sights of the city, including the church on the 10 rouble note and the regional museum. The museum was OK, not great, mostly because general museums aren’t really my thing. This one is supposedly one of the nicer ones so I figured I’d check it out.

Yesterday I hiked to Stolbi National Park. A stolb is a granite rock outcropping jutting up out of the woods for inscrutible geological reasons. I took a bus to the park then hiked around to a few stolbi, climbed one, and ate lunch at the top. Great hiking! People also go rock climbing on the stolbi.. not much of that today though, since it rained heavily last night and was threatening to rain all day.

This is my first platskart (3rd class) trip.. it’s been sold out or nonexistant on every train I’ve taken so far. Hopefully it will be my last though – I did not get a good night’s sleep. Like "hard sleeper" in China, platskart squeezes about 60 berths into one carriage, but it does it in a different way. Rather than stacking the berths 3-high, there are 4 berths on one side of a hallway (perpendicular to the direction of travel) and 2 on the other (lateral.) The problem is that the berths are too short. I had to either dangle my feet off the edge of my berth (where people walking down the hall can bump into them) or sleep curled up (which my legs didn’t appreciate at all after a day of hiking.) It was still much better than the sleeper bus Robin and I took from Hekou to Kunming a couple of months ago, but I’m sticking to kupe (2nd class compartment) from now on. Kupe tickets are easier to get anyway.

So now I’m stopping for the day in Novosibirsk, mostly to see a railway museum (the good kind of museum) then onto Yekaterinberg.