Monday, August 06, 2007
The overnight train from Vienna Westbahnhof arrived in time for breakfast at the very impressive Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Peregrinations followed and led to the Fernsehturm, but the sojourn to KMA 36 (Karl Marx Allee) gave a taste of Ost Berlin, especially Kafe Moscow and the adjacent bar. The interior of our chosen accomodation at Pension Funk was definitely in keeping with ths 'Ostalgic' theme, albeit close to the ritzy Ku'damm.
Aptly named Ost-West, the Berlin - Warsaw train led to Warshawa Centralny, where our delightful co-passenger Agnieschka, (who at the border had kindly but unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate against the eviction of our Egyptian co-passenger without a visa) took us through the labyrinth of shops to take us to Polish breakfast.
At Warschawa Wschodia station I felt we were truly entering eastern Europe. The onward Warsaw to Moscow journey incorporated an impressive bogey change at Brest (Belorus). With passengers necks craning from the windows, the carriages were deftly distributed between sets of hoists in the shed-workshop and a small army of mechanics slid the first set of bogeys out and filed the new set in, manually halting each in the correct position before lowering the wagons again.
I did not awaken for the stop at Minsk in the middle of the night but enjoyed the country villages from the window after breakfast. As we reached Moscow, there was a tangle of stations and highways and we drew to a halt in the chaos of Belorusskaja station.
Now the challenge of finding the way with signs in cyrillic like this.. Настройки сообщения