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The arrival

(part two)

snow -20 °C
View The take off & The Trans-Mongolian Express on LewisNolan's travel map.

So with my granny grabbing adventures over I gathered my crap, I had way too much in hand luggage but the parents were right about me getting a jacket since i only bought it on Friday. You know when you step off a plane into a Mediterranean country and that wall off heat hits you? Well imagine the complete opposite of that, as in living in your freezer!
It was bitter, bleak and dark. Snow everywhere plus it was a shuttle bus not a walkway bridge at the terminal so we all squashed in like sardines and drove like half a mile then piled in the terminal building. Everyone went through passport control and this was the big bit, the bit everyone was fretting about, would I be refused and end up in Siberia working in a mine. I gladly report it was fine, there were the obvious paper checks but as I worried i made two new friends, Helen and Catherine sisters from Andover. The funny thing was they were behind me and debating whether two other girls were British so i just kept smiling till i plucked up the courage and said, 'You're English yes? And on the vodka-train? And stopping at the Na Sadavoy hostel before the trip?'
Our survey said yes thank God so they were my first two traveling companions and they are very good ones at that. We spoke as we collected our bags, which had snow on them, then headed for the exit. Dodging our way through the 'nothing to declare' green gate the girls met their transfer driver and i experienced my first Russian encounter, well proper one. I pointed but managed not to do the British thing of shout and pronounce slower so bagged myself a taxi for 700 rubles from door to door, that's 17.50 pounds. It got me there through the crazy traffic and cold winter night so i was happy, booked in easy enough and got the lift as couldn't be arsed after 12 hours of traveling. As I stepped out though who was there to meet me?
None other than my new best friends who were in the room opposite. Dumping my bag I unpacked kind of, as in what I needed then rammed it shut again. The rooms were basic but did, i was happy but didn't manage any photos so will scam some. Being in a two person room was strange, would i be joined by anyone? Would they be on the trip? All I knew was Russians have weird, large, SQUARE pillows that push you down the bed. Also it was like being back at Grandma Nolan's as there were loads off covers, not a duvet just a poop load of blankets but it was comfy. So we explored the hostel, didn't find much apart from the most scary health and safety posters you'd ever seen?
We said good night/das ve danai and arranged to meet for breakfast then see what St Petersburg was like???

Posted by LewisNolan 00:29 Archived in Russia Tagged backpacking

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Hi Lewis, enjoying reading your blog. Glad you are coping well. Looking forward to reading the next instalment. Take care. Love (aunty) Monica x

by Monica Burns

Keep the commentary coming Lewis,I've loved your story so far especially your witty little comments. Take care and keep warm.

by Mary-Teresa

glad to hear u arr. ok and getting ur priorities right .... namely meeting the right kind of friends!take care and enjoy!!

by hugh burns

Hi Lewis

Have they heard of JedWard over where you are? I'm hoping to get their autographs tonight at the X-Factor Tour. Hope you've got your thermals - brrr! Keep posting and take care.

by Marathon5K

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