Today I visited Monino for a pre arranged trip to what was part of the Gagarin Air Force base, but it has actually recently been placed into non military hands. It’s about 40km to the North East of Moscow – it took me about an hour and a half to get out there by car. It’s actually hidden on the outskirts of a suburb, and there are few signs. I had high hopes for this trip, and they were met in every respect – it is a truly amazing place to visit if you have a passing interest in Cold […]

Read More


Moscow, GMT +4, -10 C (high), -19 C (low), sunny You might think from the above that its warmer today, but having spent a couple of hours out, I’m coming round to the view that the temperature is just a number and I can confirm without consulting a thermometer that its nippy enough to freeze solid any exposed bits. I spent the morning shopping at the Ismailovsky outdoor market, where they seem to sell all the tourist stuff you would ever need at reasonable prices. There is also an area here that sells Soviet militaria – plenty of interesting stuff […]

Read More


D405 “Vltava” Part 2 Brest – Moscow Distance so far: 3250 km, GMT +4, -17 C, sunny, clear skies. Morning! Last night turned out to be quite an interesting one. I’ve just woken up (3 hours earlier than I needed to – note to self – I must learn to change time zones before bed). It’s very cold, which is unusual for a Russian train. It turns out the boiler in this carriage is on the blink, so there is a mechanic here with a hammer and some spanners. I think he’s managed to fix it, but can’t help but […]

Read More


D 405 “Vltava” Part 1 Warsaw – Terespol Distance covered so far – 1900 km, GMT +1, -5 C, cloudy. Well that was quite interesting. The Amsterdam train was two hours late into Warsaw but they had held the Moscow train for our arrival. I didn’t see them switch any carriages but they might have done – Amsterdam to Minsk & Basel to Moscow carriages both travel this route. My carriage attendant, who was doing a first class job with little English, gave me a voucher – apparently PKP actually financially compensate passengers when they are this late. It’ll never […]

Read More