Saturday, 28 August 2010

St Petersburg to Trento, With a Taste of Berlin

Wednesday night (25th) at 11:59pm (bit of an odd time to schedule a train we thought!) we boarded our next leg from St Petersburg to Berlin, with the ultimate destination of Trento, Italy. There was only 2 carriages going all the way to Berlin and these were visibly different on the outside to the usual Russian carriages - a bit sleeker and more modern looking. Lucky for us the differences were not just cosmetic - our cabin only had 3 beds and we were the only ones in it. We had a sink and a even a refrigerated compartment that was under one of the seats! The trip took us through Belarus and Poland before taking us into Germany, all in 36 hours. At the Belarus/Poland border we were in for another bogey change - for this one we all stayed in the carriages, and local women jumped on board selling beer, fresh berries, ice-cream, chicken and other food. Unfortunately we had used up all of our Rubles so could only afford beer, but with the refrigerated compartment we were happy with our choice!

The retro dining car
The fridge chair
The train carriages on jacks having bogies changed.

Thursday (27th), on time arrival at Berlin, and with about 10 hours until our next connection we decided to explore the city a little. The morning was spent scouting a few camera stores for a replacement, but with no luck. Afterwards we took a hop on/off bus tour of the city to get as much in as we could, jumped off and had a bit of a walk around. As we were wandering back to the station via one of the sites of Berlin, we bumped into Paul's high school friend Jessica! It was a complete surprise. She is over in Berlin for 3 months and we both happened to be passing the same spot at the same time. The world truly is a small place!

After some tasty dinner, we got ourselves ready to jump on the 3 different (!) trains to Trento. On the final leg we had to guard our seats as we were not able to book, and people were ready to pounce at any time you looked like you were leaving.

Brandenburg Gate
A sort of street festival we stumbled on
Some live music in the station to help pass the time waiting for the next train


  1. Don't forget to update your map!

  2. I can't believe the old school friend! Wow! Truly weird! We may be "a galaxy far, far away" - but we do get about!

  3. PM:Having some technical problems with the map, hopefully can sort them out soon.

  4. Sorry, can't find an 'email us' link, and I have a serious question:

    As far as I know, the two St Petersburg-Berlin sleeping-cars are older 1960s-built ex-Soviet non-air-con vehicles as in the photos shown on Petersburg , whereas the Moscow-Berlin sleeping-cars on the same train are much more modern 1990s-built air-conditioned smooth-sided vehicles, like the ones in the 'train being jacked up to have its bogies changed' photo on and as shown in the photos here: 1: London to Moscow via Cologne

    Can you confirm if the St petersburg-Berlin sleeping-cars you saw and rode in in 2010 were the old ex-Soviet fluted-sided sort or the new air-con 1990s smooth-sided sort?

    Many thanks! Mark.