Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trains The Ultimate Experience

THis is a photo of the temple approaching dusk. Compliments of Hanno.

Our most recent adventure to Chernivsti via train (this was the 4th time on such a trip). We did the standard McDonalds treat just outside the train station before boarding the 15 hour overnight train from Kyiv to Chernivsti. This time we shared a 4 bed compartment with two elderly gentlemen who spoke a lot less English than we spoke Russian. The normal routine is visit for awhile, get a cup of tea or coffee to go with your evening snack (nice dinner in many cases), make up your bunk beds with the sheets, pillow and blanket they provide, then figure out a way to let everyone make their beds and get ready for bed without stepping on each other. Going to sleep with the lights on or off is indifferent to most. Just make the most of it and enjoy the night’s sleep with the rickety rackety of the train meandering down the track. It is not the smoothest train track, but it kind of rocks you to sleep. Actually, the ride reminded me of driving down the Bone road to Idaho Falls from Grays Lake.

About an hour after the train left, Shauna went into the restroom at the end of the sleeper car to freshen up a bit. That is where she spent the next hour because she broke the door handle and lock. After 9 train workers with crowbars, hammers, chisels, screw drivers, and yelling, they managed to twist the door enough to unlock it. I think they bent the train frame to finally open it up. It was amusing listening to them yelling instructions to Shauna, and she quietly did what she thought they wanted her to do from inside. Finally she just stood back and let them hammer away until they bent the metal door and got her out. I hope they think it was a malfunctioning door, otherwise we will need to pay for all the repairs.. We think the train purser is on our side because it seemed like she was apologizing to us and offered us free tea and coffee. From now on I have to accompany Shauna whenever she goes to the toilet to guard the door because she will NOT lock the door again when she gets inside! She always struggled with the compartment doors and usually needed help to open them. So this really did not surprise me that much.
I will try to capture some of the experience on camera. But it can never do the actual ride justice.

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