From Russia With Love

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Status
Not open for further replies.

Seaboard92

Engineer
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,665
Location
South Carolina
@Seaboard92 reading your report brings back many memories. Here are some that seem to be worth sharing.

I visited Moscow about a month after the Ostenkino TV Tower incident. So things were considerably less stable and settled back then.

Unlike you I traveled by train from Helsinki to Moscow on the EC Leo Tolstoy. It had only three en route stops - Vanaikkala (Finnish Border post), Vyborg (Russian immigration and addition of the domestic section to the train), Bologoyo and Moscow Leningradski, though back then it was called Oktobryuskaya. It did not stop at Tver though we passed through it. We arrived at a platform across from the Krasnaya Strela (Red Star). Interestingly, we were held at a signal presumably for congestion ahead, right next to the Ostenkino TV facility where there was that incident in the recent past.

I had a private guide for the duration of my stay since I don't speak much Russian. He turned out to be a rail enthusiast. So that was good. Excellent unplanned but extended tour of the Metro came in handy.

We made additional plans beyond what the standard Moscow tourist sites that the tour company had originally committed to. Upon my suggestion one day we went to the battleground of the famous Battle of Borodino which the French formally won and entered Moscow. But in reality it was the beginning of the end. It is memorialized in Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, which interestingly is played at every American Independence Day concert in Washington DC! And of course Leo Tolstoy wrote War and Peace about it. So I was not going to miss a chance to visit.

Another day we took a train to Peredelkino to visit Boris Pasternak's (author of Dr. Zhivago) grave. I always wanted to visit it. You can get a brief glimpse of it in the movie "The Russia House". Incidentally The main character Barley Scott-Blair, played by Sean Connery, stayed at the Ukraina Hotel, that I have mentioned earlier, when he was in Moscow!

And as I said, I walked a lot, all over Moscow, sometimes with the guide and sometimes just by myself.

I returned to Helsinki by Leo Tolstoy through a raging blizzard north of Tver all the way to the Finnish border at Vanaikkala. At the border checkpost they spent more time looking for young Russian women stowaways hidden in the train than for any other contraband, which was a bit weird!

I agree with you that Russia is a lot like America, in some good ways, and in some bad ways too.

A final interesting footnote.... I was in Helsinki for a technical standards meeting. My company IPR folks told me not to take my company laptop into Russia! So I locked it up with some baggage that I did not need in Russia in a locker at the Helsinki Central station before boarding the train to Russia, and retrieved it upon return to Helsinki. As I said, things were a bit up in the air back then.

That sounds like a really good trip. I would love to read a trip report about it sometime. Moskva was the one place I didn't have a local to show me around which might also shape my thoughts on the city. I actually preferred both Novosibirsk and Irkutsk over Moskva. I would have taken the Leo Tolstoy or the Trans European Express had either train been running but right now nothing is leaving Russia with the exception of trains to Belarus.

They've even thrown a Lastochka commuter consist on the Minsk-Moskva route now too. Which if you ask me is too many hours on a commuter consist that I would never consider it. I think the Tolstoy is slated to return on December 12th though so I'll probably take it or the Allegro on my trip for New Years.

I find it funny that we play the 1812 Overture every day on the 4th of July too. I wonder if people are confusing it with the War of 1812 in the USA. That would be interesting and a quick informal google search hasn't turned anything up on that.

I'm curious what you think is similar in Russia to the USA as well.

Of the foreign countries I've visited, Russia was the most familiar. (I visited in the 1990s.) It was striking how much it was like the US, culturally. In the way most of Europe isn't, most of South America isn't, Australia isn't, and China isn't. (I haven't had the chance to visit anywhere in Africa or the Middle East.)

I'm curious to what makes you think that as well. I would love to discuss the similarities more because I find it interesting. I know that V Putin is a very big Beatles fan. I actually do trivia at work for a better snack I grab from first class and one of my questions is this. "Which current world leader invited Sir Paul McCartney to perform under his office window in 2003 to sing a song about what his country used to be called?" And Almost no one can get it, they generally think it is Queen Elizabeth. The trick in the question is the part current world leader, and about the song. Then I point out if you look it up on youtube in this video you can see Putin and I believe Gorbachev in the video.



I actually love how that video really helps to humanize the Russians as it shows that they love our music just as much as we do. I really want to see people humanize other people around the world.

Canada? I also found Australia the most similar place I've been to Texas( with lots of differences) but then some people don't consider Texas as being part of the US!🤣

Texas is the size of a small country you know. I have not been to Australia but I would think Russia is a bit more in common with us because it was one of two super powers in the Cold War, with the USA being the second. And both are also militaristic countries. No one ever hears about Australian troops around the world.

I'm optimistic that I'll be able to do so, and I'd be very keen to make contact with you about potential guides when my plans have some level of structure - many thanks!

And if you're ever in SE Oz and fancy a lookabout, let's know.

I will definitely help set you up with some good locals. And I'm sure my friends know some people as well. Of course if I ever run the group tour I'm debating you could just do that as well. Granted I prefer solo travel. I always have and always will.

Most definitely. I'll come down to Australia at some point. Not sure when just yet but definitely will come.
 

Seaboard92

Engineer
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,665
Location
South Carolina
Macaroni and cheese is South Carolina soul food?

It is part of our soul food. I really should have made some Fried Chicken too but in that kitchen I shudder to think how long that would have taken me. South Carolina has some of the best soul food in the nation if you ask me. I figure the best place to show my Russian friends soul food is this little mom and pop place off US 76 in Newberry county. It is surrounded by nothing but woods and it is incredible despite only being open four hours a week.

This photo could have been taken out of the front door of my childhood home in rural Virginia. (minus the railroad infrastructure...)
A field is a field is a field, no matter what continent you're on.

Exactly it looks just like the field near my house. People are People no matter what continent you're on.
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
1,874
Location
Denver
No one ever hears about Australian troops around the world.
They're out there; it's just that Americans don't hear of them, except when they're side by side with American troops. Right now Australian troops are engaged in a hazardous peace-keeping operation in the Solomon Islands.

It's a subject of some wounded Gallic feelings that Australia is a member of the Five Eyes consortium for intelligence sharing but European continental countries are not.
 

Marbleski

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
57
Location
Newfoundland Canada
Hi Seaboard92,

Thanks for bringing us along on your trip. Quite fascinating. By far the most interesting trip report I had the pleasure of reading.

For a few years now my oldest son said he would take the Trans Siberian Railway trip with me during his two month break upon graduation in April 2021. Covid put the trip on hold for a while. He started a five year program in another Canadian province on July 1 and will be unable to take a long enough chunk of time to do the trip during the next five years.

If you plan a small group trip sometime I would be interested.

Happy travels and stay safe.
 

Seaboard92

Engineer
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,665
Location
South Carolina
Hi Seaboard92,

Thanks for bringing us along on your trip. Quite fascinating. By far the most interesting trip report I had the pleasure of reading.

For a few years now my oldest son said he would take the Trans Siberian Railway trip with me during his two month break upon graduation in April 2021. Covid put the trip on hold for a while. He started a five year program in another Canadian province on July 1 and will be unable to take a long enough chunk of time to do the trip during the next five years.

If you plan a small group trip sometime I would be interested.

Happy travels and stay safe.

Thank you for the nice words. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I enjoyed traveling almost as much as I enjoyed writing about it.

You definitely need to do the Trans Siberian. Right now isn't a super bad time to do it outside of the Covid Risk just because Russia is acting more business as usual than any other country. Now that being said using safe practices would be a must.

I will definitely plan and lead a group trip sometime in the nearish future. Probably next year pending the Covid Numbers and restrictions in Russia. I need to do some more traveling there to look at other potential stop cities. I think Yekaterinburg might be an interesting one, maybe even Kazan. There are several variants one can do on the TransSiberian too that make it fun.
 

Marbleski

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
57
Location
Newfoundland Canada
Thank you for the nice words. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I enjoyed traveling almost as much as I enjoyed writing about it.

You definitely need to do the Trans Siberian. Right now isn't a super bad time to do it outside of the Covid Risk just because Russia is acting more business as usual than any other country. Now that being said using safe practices would be a must.

I will definitely plan and lead a group trip sometime in the nearish future. Probably next year pending the Covid Numbers and restrictions in Russia. I need to do some more traveling there to look at other potential stop cities. I think Yekaterinburg might be an interesting one, maybe even Kazan. There are several variants one can do on the TransSiberian too that make it fun.
I will keep an eye on this site for updates.

We were looking at the trip through Mongolia into Beijing.

Have you done that root?
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
1,874
Location
Denver
I will keep an eye on this site for updates.

We were looking at the trip through Mongolia into Beijing.

Have you done that route?

I've attached a schedule for that route but it's a bit out of date. It's from the itinerary for W.E.B. DuBois' trip to the Far East. It includes the Asia Express which was the first air-conditioned streamliner in the world (using technology stolen from the Carrier corporation).
 

Attachments

  • 1936 Manchuria Express.pdf
    780.6 KB · Views: 8

Marbleski

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
57
Location
Newfoundland Canada
I've attached a schedule for that route but it's a bit out of date. It's from the itinerary for W.E.B. DuBois' trip to the Far East. It includes the Asia Express which was the first air-conditioned streamliner in the world (using technology stolen from the Carrier corporation).
Thanks for sending the route or root lol. The eyes did not pick up the auto typing mistake on my little phone screen lol.
 

caravanman

Engineer
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
4,634
Location
Nottingham, England.
A very interesting trip report. I like that you include lots of "non-train" stuff, as well as showing something of your feelings and emotions about what you are doing.
Interesting to get a bit of background also about your flight attendant job, and the travel perks!
The TUI aircraft at Heathrow is from the holiday company TUI, they do package deal holidays.
How did you first get to know all your Russian friends?
If I can give a small piece of advice, I would scale back on saying too much online about your own airline or hub... ;)
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
1,433
I actually preferred both Novosibirsk and Irkutsk over Moskva.

My dad would have loved your trip report - he spent a lot of time in the USSR in the 80's (he spoke fluent Russian - his Polish accent confused them since it was rare to hear foreign speakers of Russian). He loved Akademgorodok (sp) - aka Academic Village, a research and academic facility - outside Novosibirsk - he had strong friendships with his colleagues there to the point of my old skateboard ending up there...
 

Seaboard92

Engineer
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,665
Location
South Carolina
A very interesting trip report. I like that you include lots of "non-train" stuff, as well as showing something of your feelings and emotions about what you are doing.
Interesting to get a bit of background also about your flight attendant job, and the travel perks!
The TUI aircraft at Heathrow is from the holiday company TUI, they do package deal holidays.
How did you first get to know all your Russian friends?
If I can give a small piece of advice, I would scale back on saying too much online about your own airline or hub... ;)

Thank you for the nice comments. I think it makes the best story and is the most educational when I include all the details the good, bad, and the ugly. And there was a bit of it all. Looking back now though it was all good. I think its good to give the background of the job too including some of the bad side of it. I love my job more then anything else I've ever done but there are days I get aggravated with it. Never with management though, mostly with my fellow FAs, our union, and the catering department. It truly is the best job in the world.

The non train stuff is really the best part of Russia. The trains are amazing and historical but kinda mundane. I also hope that some of you guys can follow in my footsteps now that I have a list of restaurant recommendations. It seams I'm always at Las Tores in St. Petersburg.

Let's see I met Viktoria (St. Petersburg) via a very popular networking app on my phone one day when I was just looking for a friend and I ended up finding a lifelong friend. So if you ask me that's a positive thing from modern society. I met Kseniya the same way actually but we've both agreed to tell her parents and friends a different story just for the sake of simplicity in our lives. Now Victoria (Novosibirsk) I met via Kseniya when I was asking questions about how Russian schools are in August of 2020. I started talking to her actually when I was on board the Potomac Eagle to be precise. But then we didn't communicate for awhile, then we started communicating again when I went to Fort Wayne at the beginning of September and we haven't stopped since. She is my new sister and quite frankly better than my sister. I'll probably move to put her on my flight benefits so she can travel more. Then Alexander is a good friend of Kseniya. I've actually been invited to join Kseniya and Alexander in the Dominican Republic this winter for a few days. So I'll go over there for a bit. When they can get me a date I can then plan.

I love my Russian friends though. Honestly I think they are almost better than most of my American friends my age. I can think of a few I really like and get along with but I never have as much to say with them about everything. Mostly my American friends and I just talk about trains and global politics.

My dad would have loved your trip report - he spent a lot of time in the USSR in the 80's (he spoke fluent Russian - his Polish accent confused them since it was rare to hear foreign speakers of Russian). He loved Akademgorodok (sp) - aka Academic Village, a research and academic facility - outside Novosibirsk - he had strong friendships with his colleagues there to the point of my old skateboard ending up there...

;The Academic Village is actually really close to the train museum in Novosibirsk. I find the people who live in Novosibirsk to be some of the warmest, and most welcoming of probably anywhere in my travels, if not the top slot they are close. And I've been to 13 countries and 49 states. So that really should say a lot. You should definitely go visit Novosibirsk yourself too. It isn't really a pretty city when you compare it to others like St. Petersburg, but it is a cultural city.
 

CTANut

Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
171
Location
USA
That sounds like a really good trip. I would love to read a trip report about it sometime. Moskva was the one place I didn't have a local to show me around which might also shape my thoughts on the city. I actually preferred both Novosibirsk and Irkutsk over Moskva. I would have taken the Leo Tolstoy or the Trans European Express had either train been running but right now nothing is leaving Russia with the exception of trains to Belarus.

They've even thrown a Lastochka commuter consist on the Minsk-Moskva route now too. Which if you ask me is too many hours on a commuter consist that I would never consider it. I think the Tolstoy is slated to return on December 12th though so I'll probably take it or the Allegro on my trip for New Years.

I find it funny that we play the 1812 Overture every day on the 4th of July too. I wonder if people are confusing it with the War of 1812 in the USA. That would be interesting and a quick informal google search hasn't turned anything up on that.

I'm curious what you think is similar in Russia to the USA as well.



I'm curious to what makes you think that as well. I would love to discuss the similarities more because I find it interesting. I know that V Putin is a very big Beatles fan. I actually do trivia at work for a better snack I grab from first class and one of my questions is this. "Which current world leader invited Sir Paul McCartney to perform under his office window in 2003 to sing a song about what his country used to be called?" And Almost no one can get it, they generally think it is Queen Elizabeth. The trick in the question is the part current world leader, and about the song. Then I point out if you look it up on youtube in this video you can see Putin and I believe Gorbachev in the video.



I actually love how that video really helps to humanize the Russians as it shows that they love our music just as much as we do. I really want to see people humanize other people around the world.



Texas is the size of a small country you know. I have not been to Australia but I would think Russia is a bit more in common with us because it was one of two super powers in the Cold War, with the USA being the second. And both are also militaristic countries. No one ever hears about Australian troops around the world.



I will definitely help set you up with some good locals. And I'm sure my friends know some people as well. Of course if I ever run the group tour I'm debating you could just do that as well. Granted I prefer solo travel. I always have and always will.

Most definitely. I'll come down to Australia at some point. Not sure when just yet but definitely will come.

I've flown in one of these.
 

neroden

Engineer
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
9,549
Location
Ithaca, NY
So, these are going to be vague and not very specific thoughts.

The high ethnic diversity and linguistic diversity is actually one of the ways in which Russia was like the US, but different from most of Europe and South America, which struck me *immediately*. Much of Europe and South America can seem very homogenized. (Though London is actually more diverse than anywhere else I've ever been.) The general level of ignorance about their own history was another, less flattering similarity between Russia and the US; much more general awareness of local history in South America and Europe. :p

There's also a certain *straightforwardness* or bluntness of communication style which I associate with the Northeastern US, was present in Moscow and St Petersburg, but is not present in much of the Southern US, and is also not present in England, Italy, or even Germany; it's hard for me to nail that down. There's also... this one is hard to nail down too.. a sort of "spirit of progress" attitude which seems common in the US and Russia but not so much in most of Europe or South America.
 

neroden

Engineer
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
9,549
Location
Ithaca, NY
I was surprised to see my plane was a turboprop. Up until this day I had never been inside a prop plane and that includes museums.
Late commenting on this, but wow. Living where I do, half the plane trips I've ever taken started with a flight in a tiny turboprop from Ithaca to some hub. They are still in very widespread use in the US, though not so much on long trips any more.
 

neroden

Engineer
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
9,549
Location
Ithaca, NY
As I doubt any americans can find Novosibirsk in a map.
My father has a lot of Novosibirsk contacts due to the University; it's very well known in academic circles, particularly in mathematics. I almost visited once but we had to cut that trip short due to a severe allergic reaction to insect bites which started getting really scary while we were in Kiev, so we rushed home.
 

neroden

Engineer
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
9,549
Location
Ithaca, NY
One thing that is surprising is there are TPs just like you would expect of the American Indian tribes here in Baikal.

So, some history perspective: Siberia has an indigenous, native population. Just like the US and Canada do. In fact, it's the ancestors of this population who originally settled the Americas, across the land bridge when you would walk across the Bering Strait. There are direct cultural connections, which is why you'll see similarities you might not expect.

Siberia was colonized by Russia the same way the Native American lands were colonized by the US... with the same level of fraud and violence, frankly. And they have "reservations" too, which they originally chased the native population onto with weapons, just like in the US.

One of the more unnerving similarities between the US and Russia.
 

neroden

Engineer
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
9,549
Location
Ithaca, NY
If you want advise on what to do in Russia I am happy to tell you where to go and what to see. I'm actually debating leading a group tour of the Trans Siberian for normal people who want to do it, but can't afford the rich "Golden Eagle" Trains that are aimed at people who want to do the Trans Siberian but aren't confident enough to travel in Russia solo on the public train.
My confidence in travelling solo in foreign countries used to be high, dropped massively when I developed weird food allergies. :-( I know how to check the ingredients in English but not in any other language. I've always wanted to find the right sort of tour guide for that but it's a very specialized problem. Someone who was really good at *food translation*, which is a pretty specific sort of translation requiring much higher fluency than most.
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
1,874
Location
Denver
My confidence in travelling solo in foreign countries used to be high, dropped massively when I developed weird food allergies. :-( I know how to check the ingredients in English but not in any other language. I've always wanted to find the right sort of tour guide for that but it's a very specialized problem. Someone who was really good at *food translation*, which is a pretty specific sort of translation requiring much higher fluency than most.
Food translations remind me that when I was in the army in Europe, I had a cheat sheet from the USO that translated a number of foods on a grid with major foreign languages. Unfortunately, many restaurant items were listed as "a la..." some place's name or the name of the chef's father-in-law, etc. And then there was eating in homes that I was invited in. I was fortunate that I could take a chance and see what came out. Yes, allergies could make for difficulties.

I discovered that I liked Königsberger Klopse -- a standard in eastern Germany -- but only by ordering it the first time for its name.

08.jpg

Seafood seems to be the worst for having opaque names for dishes. Our menu cheat sheet would translate about 50% of this and the rest was trial and error or recollection of the dish from some meal one once had in the States.

Neujahr1971g - d.jpg
 

Seaboard92

Engineer
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,665
Location
South Carolina
So, these are going to be vague and not very specific thoughts.

The high ethnic diversity and linguistic diversity is actually one of the ways in which Russia was like the US, but different from most of Europe and South America, which struck me *immediately*. Much of Europe and South America can seem very homogenized. (Though London is actually more diverse than anywhere else I've ever been.) The general level of ignorance about their own history was another, less flattering similarity between Russia and the US; much more general awareness of local history in South America and Europe. :p

There's also a certain *straightforwardness* or bluntness of communication style which I associate with the Northeastern US, was present in Moscow and St Petersburg, but is not present in much of the Southern US, and is also not present in England, Italy, or even Germany; it's hard for me to nail that down. There's also... this one is hard to nail down too.. a sort of "spirit of progress" attitude which seems common in the US and Russia but not so much in most of Europe or South America.

That is very true there is a lot of ethnic diversity in the country which we also have. I think the reason Europe and South America feel more homogenized is because ethnically I think they are almost all one group. Whereas Russia has slavs, Mongols, arabs, and other asian tribes in their heritage. This is very true Viktoria has no problem speaking her mind. She says what she thinks and doesn't really care if you like it or not. It is actually something I like about her because I almost always know where I stand.

Late commenting on this, but wow. Living where I do, half the plane trips I've ever taken started with a flight in a tiny turboprop from Ithaca to some hub. They are still in very widespread use in the US, though not so much on long trips any more.

We actually just picked up the Ithaca route actually. I haven't worked it yet but we're doing it from Charlotte. I haven't seen many props in the USA outside of Horizon. I believe AA got rid of theirs even before the pandemic.

So, some history perspective: Siberia has an indigenous, native population. Just like the US and Canada do. In fact, it's the ancestors of this population who originally settled the Americas, across the land bridge when you would walk across the Bering Strait. There are direct cultural connections, which is why you'll see similarities you might not expect.

Siberia was colonized by Russia the same way the Native American lands were colonized by the US... with the same level of fraud and violence, frankly. And they have "reservations" too, which they originally chased the native population onto with weapons, just like in the US.

One of the more unnerving similarities between the US and Russia.

I didn't think about that actually but now that you mention that it makes a lot of sense. It's amazing what you stumble on that you forget from your textbooks.

My confidence in travelling solo in foreign countries used to be high, dropped massively when I developed weird food allergies. :-( I know how to check the ingredients in English but not in any other language. I've always wanted to find the right sort of tour guide for that but it's a very specialized problem. Someone who was really good at *food translation*, which is a pretty specific sort of translation requiring much higher fluency than most.

Well if I ever get this group trip I'm planning I would definitely take into account guest's allergies and try to avoid anything people are allergic too. I'm actually allergic to the melon family and Kseniya's father was so proud of himself for getting a good watermelon for me. Till his daughter told him that I was allergic, which was fine by him. As now he had a good watermelon for himself.
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
1,874
Location
Denver
So, some history perspective: Siberia has an indigenous, native population. Just like the US and Canada do. In fact, it's the ancestors of this population who originally settled the Americas, across the land bridge when you would walk across the Bering Strait. There are direct cultural connections, which is why you'll see similarities you might not expect.

Siberia was colonized by Russia the same way the Native American lands were colonized by the US... with the same level of fraud and violence, frankly. And they have "reservations" too, which they originally chased the native population onto with weapons, just like in the US.

One of the more unnerving similarities between the US and Russia.
One of the reasons that I visited Tomsk is that it is near the western end of the fur-trading world that stretched all the way through Alaska to Northern California. A fort was built on a high point in the 17th century and became a government center. On the right in the photograph there is a living history museum demonstrating pioneer crafts that reminded this Oregonian of similar places in the Hudson Bay Company's realm.

2010 Russia 101.jpg

The last I can recall, there are still unresolved frontier issues with China resulting from pioneers and traders from both civilizations overlapping each other and running over the indigenous people. I'd like to be wrong on that but after the shooting in 1969 I think they just put things on hold. [One of the things that we had to watch out for on the Berlin military trains back then was attempts to get us to take the Russian side vs. China.]
 

Ziv

OBS Chief
Joined
Oct 25, 2011
Messages
976
One of my favorite photos from my Trans Siberian trips is a very simple one I took from the railcar of the Novosibirsk station sign. It is of course in Cyrillic but it is recognizable even to a clueless Westerner like me. I only got off the train to get smoked fish and Number 9 Baltika Extra beer but I have a soft spot for Novosibirsk all the same.

My father has a lot of Novosibirsk contacts due to the University; it's very well known in academic circles, particularly in mathematics...
Novosibirsk (1).jpg
 
Last edited:

jis

Chief Dispatcher
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
AU Supporting Member
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
33,102
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
I have just seen Novosibirsk a few times from 35,000’ up at night while peering through the window of a UA 777-300ER heading north back to the US from India 😏

The lights of Novosibirsk covered in snow lit up by moonlight reflecting off of the snow on a clear day is quite pretty actually. One could go so far as to say it looks magical. Who says there is nothing to see out the window of a plane?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
4,851
Location
Baltimore. MD
One of the reasons that I visited Tomsk is that it is near the western end of the fur-trading world that stretched all the way through Alaska to Northern California. A fort was built on a high point in the 17th century and became a government center. On the right in the photograph there is a living history museum demonstrating pioneer crafts that reminded this Oregonian of similar places in the Hudson Bay Company's realm.
At the other end of the Russian fur-trading world is Fort Ross in California, along the coast a little north of San Francisco.

20160710_155031 (2).jpg

Might have had some interesting alternative history if the Russians had stayed in North America.
 

Seaboard92

Engineer
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,665
Location
South Carolina
One of the reasons that I visited Tomsk is that it is near the western end of the fur-trading world that stretched all the way through Alaska to Northern California. A fort was built on a high point in the 17th century and became a government center. On the right in the photograph there is a living history museum demonstrating pioneer crafts that reminded this Oregonian of similar places in the Hudson Bay Company's realm.

View attachment 26174

The last I can recall, there are still unresolved frontier issues with China resulting from pioneers and traders from both civilizations overlapping each other and running over the indigenous people. I'd like to be wrong on that but after the shooting in 1969 I think they just put things on hold. [One of the things that we had to watch out for on the Berlin military trains back then was attempts to get us to take the Russian side vs. China.]

I'm curious what one had to look for on that side of things. I don't see how the Duty Train and China are related but I am interested. My mother rode the duty train a few times in the sixties. I've always wanted to learn more about it.

I have just seen Novosibirsk a few times from 35,000’ up at night while peering through the window of a UA 777-300ER heading north back to the US from India 😏

The lights of Novosibirsk covered in snow lit up by moonlight reflecting off of the snow on a clear day is quite pretty actually. One could go so far as to say it looks magical. Who says there is nothing to see out the window of a plane?

I think Novosibirsk is actually really magical at almost any time of the year but I'm biased. There are actually a lot of cool things you can see from the plane that I always try to point out to my passengers. I always try to make sightseeing announcements if I know what it is I'm looking at.

At the other end of the Russian fur-trading world is Fort Ross in California, along the coast a little north of San Francisco.

View attachment 26176

Might have had some interesting alternative history if the Russians had stayed in North America.

It would be an interesting alternative history. We might have better trains because that is one thing the Russians do way better than we do. They have amazing infrastructure in rail and public transit.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top