07 June 2019
Then to a museum, with the best array of stuffed animals set in their habitat that I have ever seen. Then another boat cruise, though this time with the most amazing folk troupe singing and dancing for us in the saloon, and getting us up to dance too! Great fun. Our final event was a class in how to paint matrouschka dolls. We got to take our work away with us.
Back to the train by three and off for a two-day stage with no stops for us, until Ulan Ude. The train's logistics are interesting. Our bit is the last six carriages, one for the bar and one for the restaurant. There is no onboard access to the rest of the twenty carriage train. When we stop, as in Khabarovsk, they decouple our bit and wait for the next train heading our way to latch on to. This is an extremely busy rail network. We pass endless freight trains all the time, and we are minute-perfect on arrivals and departures.
As Ju and I are both full of the inevitable summer cold bedtime was quite early. But Ju got good news about her bag, which had arrived in Vladivostok and would be flown to intercept the train at Lake Baikal.
Friday 7 June
A train day, with entertainment on board. Russian history sessions in the morning, in three languages, then folk music with party games and a vodka tasting in the afternoon. But the best bit for me was when Vera came to tell me my bag arrived today in Vladivostok, so we will both get our bags back on Monday. We are now thoroughly cheered up!