Stop 1: Nizhny Novgorod

6 June. We are on board of the “Lastochka”, Nizhny Novgorod bound. It’s a gorgeous day: the sky is uncharacteristically blue and the sunbeams make the trees extra green, like splotches of color against the grayness of the khrushevy. The clouds all have the same weird shape, like an army of snails moving in synchrony across…

Stop 2: Yekaterinburg

10 June. We’re still on the train to Yekaterinburg and there’s about 5 more hours to go. The kids in the lower berths are reading and making bracelets. They’re going straight to Krasnoyarsk, so it’ll be another 3 days for them to arrive. They’re actually really well-behaved, I mean, if it were Italian kids it would…

Stop 3: Omsk

13 June. I wake up on the train, upper bed, again. It’s almost 8 AM, local time, and in less than a couple of hours we’ll arrive in Omsk. I climb down my berth using my incredibly graceful and refined technique, and take my seat. The man in front of me is already up. He’s…

Stop 4: Krasnoyarsk

15 June. We’re on a train headed to Krasnoyarsk and we’re gonna spend about 25 hours in here. And it’s only 10 AM. Boring? Wrong. We immediately meet this couple from a small town in the Siberian north, Valerii and Tamara, who are headed to Novosibirsk and from there to the Altai mountains for their summer…

Stop 5: Irkutsk & Lake Baikal

18 June, 2.41 AM. Krasnoyarsk train station. Our train is finally here. We reach the platform and it’s raining, obviously. We run to the wagon and settle in our seats, while a Russian lady, who has the berth beneath mine, hears us speaking in Italian and immediately starts a conversation with me. Her name is Oksana. She…

Stop 6: Ulan Ude

23 June. We’re on the train from Irkutsk to Ulan Ude, we put the alarm at 4 AM to catch the sunrise on lake Baikal and as I open my eyes, Marta is already up next to me, looking out the window, searching for the water. Yet all we can see is trees and again trees….