Site Links

___Phase I
___Phase II
___Future Phases
___External Links

Phase II Links___Phase II
___Highlight Photos

Phase II

London to Moscow

Main, Photos, Blogs

London-Brussels, Brussels-Moscow


Will landed on the early morning flight and took public trains to my place. Ming Ming, my wife, cooked us a nice big American/English breakfast and we relaxed for an hour. We left by bus and Tube to Waterloo International Station, leaving plenty of time to spare.

Upon arrival at Waterloo, Will noticed his passport was missing. It was still in the scanner at my place, where I had scanned it to a file to store on an FTP site. Ming Ming was called, and she came by taxi to the station with Emily, our daughter, to deliver it. We missed that Eurostar train. There was another one in two hours, but that only left 14 minutes to dash from the train and catch the Brussels - Moscow Express. We had no choice. Fortunately, Eurostar allowed us to change the tickets at no additional cost.

As the train approached Brussels, we explained the situation to the conductor. He helpfully phoned ahead to the station and found out the track number for the next train. Then he gave us directions to the platform and had us move as far up the train as possible. We ran like crazy and arrived at the platform a couple of minutes early to see no train. Will had a heart attack, but the train was merely late by about four minutes.


Once on this train, we were finally able to relax. The cabins were not the best design. They consisted of one bench seat where three passengers sit facing a wall directly in front. That turns into a bed at night, and two other beds fold out above, all stacked three high. We found out there was no restaurant car on this train, which was to last for two days and nights. We were starving and we hadn't had time in Brussels to shop for supplies and chocolate, as originally planned. Fortunately, I had a large supply Chinese instant noodles of various flavours, purchased by Ming Ming. Very hot water was available on all trains, so we quickly whipped up a batch. Will said he enjoyed it as much as some of the best meals of his life. There were vendors at the train stations, so we were later able to purchase bread, sausages, Coke for the rum and vodka, and water to supplement our soup supply.

The border crossing from Germany into Poland would have been straight-forward, but I had problems. The immigration officials came on the train and moved down the aisle way, waking everyone up (it was 2:00 am). I had soaked my passport on a sailboat race across the English Channel this past summer. The main pages and the visas were fine, but there were earlier country stamps that were a bit blurred. The immigration guy didn't like this, but it took a while for me to understand this, as the guy was shouting at me in Polish at 2:00 in the morning. Finally the guy gave up.

It was also very difficult filling out the immigration/emigration forms for Poland and Belarus, as they weren't in English. We got some help from Katerina, a girl sitting with us, deciphered some Russian letters from the guidebook, and otherwise left lines blank. This never seemed to be a problem. It was further complicated that crossing into Belarus appeared to be crossing into Russian, as far as immigration stops were concerned.

Eric - from London