Client Spotlight: Traveling in style aboard Luxury Trans-Siberian Express
MIR traveler Karen Ofsthus embarked on a Trans-Siberian rail journey from Moscow across Siberia – with stops in Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk and Lake Baikal – to Ulaanbaatar by private train, and shared all her experiences in an illuminating travel journal. Enjoy this excerpt – her description of what it’s like to go “luxury class” from Western Russia to Siberia and Mongolia.
The Golden Eagle is spectacular! Almost two dozen cars are pulled by a powerful locomotive, carrying adventurous passengers and a very hard-working staff. Our two restaurant cars are decorated in a soft gold and white décor; crystal, silver and flowers adorn linen-covered tables. We sit upon beautifully embroidered chairs.
Our wait staff, Natalya, Alexander and Artur, greet us at each meal. I have to admit, I’ve been working on Alexander. So characteristically Russian, he seems to have a tough exterior. But I know it’s just a ruse. It’s taken me four days, but today I managed to get him to smile.
And Artur? After the first night on the train, I awoke very early…4am to be exact. I headed to the bar car to read, and ran into Artur who speaks not a lick of English. My Russian, of course, is non-existent, but that didn’t matter. After some hand signs and a delirious round of Pictionary on my notepad, we were laughing like crazy, slapping each other’s arms and shaking our heads. I like Artur. He now serves me extra wine.
After a scrumptious and filling breakfast we leave the train and head out for the afternoon’s excursion here in Siberia.
The next day, we’ll enjoy a barbecue along the shores of the “pearl of Russia,” mystical Lake Baikal.
Read all about Karen’s Trans-Siberian rail journey by private train on the Mongolian Route from Moscow, Russia to the Naadam Festival in UlannBaatar, Mongolia in her travel journal.
- NEW! Ride through remote Russian towns and experience the Naadam Festival on this new rail journey by private train: Trans-Siberian BAM Explorer with Naadam Festival.
- Cross the Arctic Circle, celebrating the trip with champagne and caviar while pursuing the Northern Lights.
- Ride the rails between two of the world’s greatest capitals, Beijing and Moscow, via the Silk Route by Private Train.
- The Caspian Odyssey explores six South Caucasus and Central Asia countries on both sides of the Caspian Sea.
- The Trans-Siberian Railway is a legendary way to travel across Russia and beyond.
(Top photo credit: Helge Pedersen – Karen Ofsthus enjoying the fine cuisine on the Trans-Siberian.)
PUBLISHED: January 15, 2015