by Regin Reyno
The sun hasn’t shown its face yet when we departed our hostel in Moscow. We were headed to Leningradsky train station. The station in Moscow for trains departing for Saint Petersburg. Our train departs at 5:40 am. And, being in the northern part of the globe in the winter means late sunrise.
We groggily got in our taxi, ordered at our hostel, thanks to uber. Having slept late at night means a pain in the ass to wake up early. But, so what? We’re headed to Saint Petersburg. One of the most beautiful cities in Europe, built by Peter the Great to rival Europe’s most beautiful cities. And, we are taking a comfortable train.
Debating whether to get breakfast at the train station or eat on the train, I opted for the latter. I want to fully experience, once again, European rail travel. Comfortable trains, and of course, dining on the dining car/restaurant car.
We took the Sapsan high-speed train which will cruise the 650 km. journey from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 3 hours and 40 min. Upon entering, I already knew that that will easily rival the best trains I’ve ridden. I’ve experienced bullet trains in other countries; Germany’s ICE, Japan’s Shinkansen, and China’s CRH. This Sapsan easily rivals them all. Squeaky clean, efficient, and my favorite part; a cloakroom or basically an area to hang your coats, jackets. Our bulky winter clothing won’t get in the way of our comfort on those reclining, large-spaced seats.
The sight, sound, and smell invoked in me memories of our countless train rides in Europe. That was good memory.
Train travel is my favorite way to travel. It started when we took trains in Europe. It is so relaxing, comfortable, and allows you to have a glimpse of the countryside.
It was still dark when we departed. And pretty much most of our travel time. The train wasn’t so packed that time. I’ve noticed quite lots of professionals/workers in suit, and not having luggages, probably going to Saint Petersburg for a day.
Because of tiredness from last night, and nothing but darkness outside, we slept like a baby. The comfortable seats, smooth ride, quiet environment, made sleeping possible. Trying to catch some sleep knowing we’re going to explore “The Venice of the North” for the whole day.
And because of that, we totally forgot to have a breakfast-on-board dining experience. At about 9 am, the sun was finally showing its face, and despite the cloudy weather, we saw glimpse of European architecture. And the announcement, in English, but with a Russian twang says we’ve arrived in the city built to rival Europe’s most beautiful cities.
Despite sleeping late that night, and waking up very early, we were ready to explore the beauty of the city, because we were able to catch some sleep on this comfortable train. Easily one of my best bullet train rides.
Sapsan High-Speed Train Fare: $53
Station in Moscow: Leningradsky StationTravel duration: 3 hours 40 min.