I came across some travel notebooks from previous adventures. This is the second from a trip to Russia visiting an old school friend who was working there.
Gypsy cabs – Lada car owners making extra cash.
400 roubles gets you a cubicle for clothing – all 5 of us in one. Into main area – marble like benches, large plastic bowls. Towels and modesty off and shower. Into hot room lined with pine, pine steps and staging – heat rises. Varying sizes and shapes – many with super tans. Women in charge opens metal door in the wall to the fires of hell and adds water to raise the temperature and humidity. She throws essential oils at and around us. After a while more water is added to the hot coals and the humidity soars – all bar the most hardy exit fast. Head to the ‘pool’. Very cold, a shock but welcome exhilarating experience after next hot session. In main hall pampering begins. Body scrubs, face masks, hair conditioning, scrubbing. Option to gently and not so gently hit all over with ‘bring your own’ birch and juniper branches. Silky smooth skin and clear nasal passages. Must be a welcome escape and relief from the bitter winter cold. Fur coats and jackets abandoned for towels and tea-cosy hats. Coming out would be awful.
I came across some travel notebook from previous adventures. This is the first from a trip to Russia visiting an old school friend who was working there.
One half of carriage faces backwards
Two seats on each side, 64 in all
Carriage 11 – many more!
AC took a while
Man with crisps and drinks
Smelly, undesirable toilet
Plenty of leg room
Table pulls up between chairs
Wooden houses amid small allotments
Varying in size and style
Larger the further out of Moscow
Trees, lots of trees!
Cloud cover, full
2 ½ hours from Moscow
Houses seem to have double windows
Green seats covered with blue swirly patterned stretch covers. My water bottle tucked into the seat pocket along with an empty crisp packet. The air previous filled with acid toilet smells is tainted with strong, sweet perfume as a passenger returns to her seat. Two older ladies in front: one blond, the other dark wearing a hair bun net and frill. Across the passage what seems like a family. Dad sleeps with chair fully back. Mum in seat behind dressed in pink is petite, phone around her neck, heads to the toilet. Waves of previous smell wafts back. Her daughter, equally petite sits by the window reading a very old book and making pencil marks at foot of page. She has and still is eating small orange coloured fruits – slightly larger than a marble. Splitting their apparently soft flesh with her nails showing a small stone. She sucks away the flesh and moves on to the next one. Mum has returned to her seat now in different pink clothing. No other travellers are visible. Ruth dozes rocking with the jerky movement of the train. Two guide books lie on the table promising delights and sights.