8-9 March, Kazan and Train 1 to Moscow

We had chosen to stop over in Kazan to break up the long journey and to see the world-heritage listed Kremlin. At the end of our three-night train trip, we were glad to have made this choice, as another 12 hours on the train to Moscow probably would have been too much for us to endure.

4-7 March, Train 81 Irkutsk to Kazan

Train 81 bound for Moscow was much more closely aligned with our original expectations of a Trans-Siberian train – a comfortable but slightly grimy carriage with two shared bathrooms at either end.  This was our first time in a four-berth compartment and as we boarded at 11pm on Friday night, we found our new companion, a girl in her twenties sitting on lower berth Number 5. We never found out her name or what she did as she did her best to avoid making eye contact with us.