Client Spotlight: Traveling in style aboard Luxury Trans-Siberian Express

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 arrives to carry us awayPhoto credit: Helge Pedersen

The Golden Eagle arrives to carry us away
Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

All Aboard, in StyleAboard the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, we are pampered, pampered, pampered! Quite frankly, I could get used to this.

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.

Karen Ofsthus dinging with friends on the <em>Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian</em> private train<br /> Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Karen Ofsthus dining with friends on the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian private train
Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Eating in StyleAnd the food…oh the food! Three gourmet meals are served each day, carefully and lovingly prepared by the chef and his staff. Delicious Russian soups have been my favorite: borscht, solyanka and rassolneka are served with hilarious historical commentary on their origins.

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.

Dining Cars feature Russian and European cuisine complemented by a selection of local and European wines Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Dining cars feature Russian and European cuisine complemented by a selection of local and European wines
Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Relaxing in StyleThe bar car, with its comfy red velvet lounge chairs, piano and mini library is my favorite hang out. This is where I write, read and gaze out the window at the passing Siberian taiga: a never-ending expanse of forest comprised of birch, pine, larch, and hemlock. Huge meadows of purple lupine and dainty Queen Anne’s lace, the size of a dinner plate, dot the landscape and quaint wooden homes with prettily painted shutters, called dachas, can be seen here and there. Most possess large gardens of potatoes and other vegetables.

After a scrumptious and filling breakfast we leave the train and head out for the afternoon’s excursion here in Siberia.

Lounging in the bar car of the <em>Golden Eagle</em> private train <br /> Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Lounging in the bar car of the Golden Eagle private train
Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Sleeping in StyleExcursion over, we head back on board the Golden Eagle. A few hours later, after another carefully prepared dinner, I turn in for the night in my spacious cabin. The cabin attendant has already turned down the bed, folded back the comforter, fluffed the pillows and provided me with clean towels, ready for the morning and a fresh start to another day on the train.

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.

Barbecue, in style, on the shores of Lake Baikal <br>Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Barbecue, in style, on the shores of Lake Baikal
Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Travel the Trans-Siberian Railway with MIRKaren rode the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express private train from Moscow, Russia in Western Russia, through Siberia to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on an eastbound departure of the Trans-Siberian Mongolian Route with Naadam Festival.

Whether you want to stick to a Trans-Siberian Railway rail journey or are interested in all the private train travel possibilities, MIR has a number of tours to choose from, including:

 

(Top photo credit: Helge Pedersen – Karen Ofsthus enjoying the fine cuisine on the Trans-Siberian.)

PUBLISHED: January 15, 2015

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