Our train ride to Moscow went very well. We took the Aurora Express at 4:00 pm and arrived at 9:30 pm precisely on time. We had purchased our tickets at home on the internet and had vouchers which we needed to exchange at the train station for real tickets, so we went to the train station in the morning and did that. This gave us a chance to check out the train station and locate the platform from where we would be boarding the train in the afternoon.

As we breezed along at high speed, the scenery out the window was mostly a thicket of closely spaced trees of medium height. Occasionally we would break into the clear to see small villages of wooden cottages where many of the structures looked abandoned. We crossed some waterways and here the scenery was attractive for a few minutes. There was one charming village at the edge of a lake that I would have enjoyed visiting. As we came into larger towns there were some large apartment blocks to be seen and some working industrial sites spewing smoke or steam, but many industrial sites were derelict. It was dark as we came into Moscow, so I couldn’t see much. We easily got a cab and soon were buzzing along some broad boulevard, then into a quiet neighborhood with narrow streets where the Hotel Melody was located. After checking in, we walked to a nearby Georgian restaurant for drinks and a snack.

Sad Note: On November 27, 2009 (about a two months after we returned from Russia) we were very sorry to see on the TV that suspected Chechen terrorists had exploded a bomb on the main rail line just as the Nevsky Express traveling at night from Moscow to St Petersburg was passing by.  The last four cars of this non-stop, high speed train were derailed and 27 passengers were killed.     


Train to Moscow