train to Rostov-on-Don

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What can I say about this ride besides the fact that it was LONG.  It was a 30 hour train ride.  I boarded at 1500 and didn’t get off until the following evening at about nine or ten p.m.  Fortunately, the Ukrainian girl in my compartment spoke excellent English and we were able to talk throughout the trip.

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It was a good ride and I was able to see much of the Ukrainian countryside.  The police and customs agents were much friendlier than my last visit.  A drug dog came through the train at the border but he didn’t seem to find anything on our train.  The train attendant served coffee or tea whenever we wanted it and it was included in the price of the ticket; it was nice not to have to dig for change for every cup of coffee.

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The train had many stops along the route.  At each little station the locals came out to sell their products, fruit and vegetables, beer and soda, bread, and even ready-made lunches.  I purchased a lunch from one woman; it included 3 meat patties, bread, tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes.  It was quite good and cost me about $4.

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 A little boy from the next compartment came by every few hours and kept us entertained throughout the ride.  I’m (again) growing accustomed to the cigarette smoke; all of the smoking passengers smoke in the walk-space between the train cars.  The small room fills full of smoke and as soon as they return to the passenger car, the smoke pours into the sitting/sleeping area.  My eyes are a bit red and the lungs feel heavy; it makes you wonder what smoking does to the lungs of people who kill two packs a day?

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At some point we passed over the Dnieper River.  I scrambled to get my camera to take a photo.  It wasn’t until  the next train ride that I realized that the best photos could be taken from the open window in the bathroom.

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Of course, that entailed having to actually visit the bathroom.  And whatever the photo does, it doesn’t capture the smell:

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