…well, “express” is probably the wrong term. A three-day train from Tashkent to Saratov takes you through lunar deserts and frosted swamps, everything enigmatic and alien. Most scintillating of all, though, is the company.
I was bunked with these three Uzbeks and a Chechen over the course of the journey – sharing strong beer, pungent yoghurt balls, and lots of broken conversation. The journey was among the least comfortable (and certainly the least hygienic) of the whole trip – but it still stands out as one of the best three days of all.