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An Ode to the Trans Siberian Railway

Here is another one of the great entries for ‘Best Written Piece’ in our Vodkatrain Traveller Awards that we have received so far. This one is written by Liz Stoneman.

An Ode to the Trans Siberian Railway by Liz Stoneman

Winter sun bounces off the rooftops, just so;
What lies under those depths of snow?
What the people do there, by the railway lines
Eludes me as the time goes by.

Trees upon trees stripped bare, but for snowy branches.
Out into the wilderness – would I take my chances?
Except for a few tired staff, the dining car stays quiet.
Three bucks for another beer, you say? – I’ll buy it.

Train Station - Russia - Liz Stoneman

Train Station – Russia – Liz Stoneman

The sharp angles of our window, blunted by the frost;
An attendant passes by with snacks; an enquiry of the cost.
If I could but stop and eat these snacks in a village there
It would be quite the adventure beyond my fare.

I brought three novels – and I’ve read all three -
I’m now forced to pen myself some poetry!
The condensation thickens, I rub it with the curtain
Of a vista of snow-laden forests, I am quite certain.

Ulaanbaatar - Mongolia - Liz Stoneman

Ulaanbaatar – Mongolia – Liz Stoneman

Excitement takes hold, I say “We’ll be in Moscow soon”
In our four-man cabin, only one more afternoon.
For it’s been three days for us on this leg, and our limbs would like to stretch;
The three-buck beers last night were followed by a retch…

Another stop – as we step out, we land upon the rails
Our valiant attempts with Russian words appear to have failed!
The snow is soft; we leave footprints of our own
We bid adieu to our Babushka as the engine stirs and groans.

Road to Ger Camp - Mongolia - Liz Stoneman

Road to Ger Camp – Mongolia – Liz Stoneman

Protected from the cold outside, we’re cozy in our cabin
The window glass our only barrier, but no storm’s about to happen.
Two Aussies and a Brit are my excellent company
Drinking, cards and chatter, we glance back often to the trees.

But Moscow fast approaches, and it will all be o’er
My musings in Siberia will henceforth be no more.
A quote from Peter the British man: he says “You are a poet”
The quote continues with a smile, “And yet you didn’t know it.”

Ger Camp - Mongolia - Liz Stoneman

Ger Camp – Mongolia – Liz Stoneman

Another hut, a cottage or two, more snow drifts for good measure;
I wonder what’s beyond the tracks – Chernobyl, snow, lost treasure.
Gazing out our slippery window, I begin to ponder
Memories past, the glorious present and moments that are yonder:

Mongolia at the ger camp – I saw my first shooting star,
And sliding over the icy streets of Ulaan Baatar.
I think forward to the future but also to the past -
I understand the present does pass us by quite fast!

The train pulls into Moscow; there’s a bit of tidying up.
But first let’s open our sleepy eyes… before they close back shut.
“Bucket list”, “a dream come true”, call it what you will;
Everything about this journey was a downright thrill. :-)

The end!

Lake Baikal - Russia - Liz Stoneman

Lake Baikal – Russia – Liz Stoneman

Lake Baikal - Russia - Liz Stoneman

Lake Baikal – Russia – Liz Stoneman

Enter/Vote in the Vodkatrain Traveller Awards

Enter/Vote in the Vodkatrain Traveller Awards