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Welcome to Platzcart

We woke up our last morning in Novosibirsk feeling we had spent way too little time there, headed down for another huge breakfast that couldn’t be beat, feasted on the internet for a good 4 hours, and then decided to head out for a bit of wheeling.

Part way through the wheel, we decided to stop in to a little cafeteria style restaurant to get some plates of meat, salad and Grechka. Grechka is a very Russian and particularly tasty buckwheat pilaf, which you can imagine playing a role similar to rice in many meals.

We then headed to the grocery store to load up on supplies for the trans-Siberian ride over to Krasnoyarsk. The grocery store ended up being full of fantastic products, like this apple juice, or these cream filled candies.

There had been some trepidations, mostly among my half of the team, as to whether we’d be able to find somewhere on the Trans-Siberian trains to store the bikes. Now AsiaWheeling is pleased to officially report that there is plenty of room for folding bicycles and the Trans Siberian Railway.

We were also, at the advice of our Siberian Bureau, riding Platzcart, which is the lowest sleeper class on the train. AsiaWheeling is also pleased to officially report its strong support for travel in Platzcart. One is given more room for one’s luggage, placed in an environment where one is more likely to make friends, and in our opinion given more security for one’s belongings. Due to the cheaper nature of the tickets, thieves are less likely to snoop around. Also, they are forced in platzcart to do so in the open, in plain sight of all the fellow passengers who you’ve just made friends with, and who are now offering you bites of home grown tomatoes and shots of cognac.

Some of platzcart characters include:

(More Here)

So with the bikes stored, we had nothing to do but sit back and watch Siberia roll by. And my goodness was Siberia lush and green as it rolled by. We understand that we came to visit during the few months when it is not brutally cold, but ladies and gentleman, you’ve got to give credit where credit is due.

As we rode along, the train would stop from time to time in cities along the way. When it did so, many of the locals would run out to sell things to passengers on the platform. We always made sure to run out and look for interesting food and drink, or savage bargains.

That evening, we retired to the dining car where we watched soviet cinema on the monitor there, and chatted with some of our other travelers.

One of them spoke English in fact, having traveled in America as part of the work and travel program. Which we were soon to find was extremely popular among Siberian youth interested in America. And as far as we can tell, most Siberian youth are interested in America.

After chatting with him about the best things to see and do in Krasnoyarsk, we returned back to our platzcart and drifted off to sleep.


  1. AsiaWheeling » Blog Archive » California Beef Noodle King USA | January 12th, 2012 | 2:24 am

    […] Harbin is the terminus of another one of the three trans-eurasian trains. The Trans-Mongolian (which we rode) terminates in Ulaanbaatar, the trans-Manchurian terminates here in Harbin, and the famed […]

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