It is a popular (mis)conception that border guards the world over can be officious, cold and unfeeling. This is particularly true of Russia and other states who have, historically, been quite closed off to the rest of the world. No doubt this has left more than one traveller a little concerned when the time came to interact with these guards. I certainly felt this way; particularly as I always seem to be the passenger who is randomly searched/checked!
So, how was my experience?
Over the last two weeks, I have had the pleasure of travelling through Finland and Russia, experiencing the people, places, food, culture and, importantly, the trains. Over the next few weeks, I shall be trying to sum up my experiences into a series of blogs in order to give you a brief ‘insider view’ into the good, the bad, and the ugly, of travelling in this region.
From January 23rd 2013 Russian Railways (RZD) has announced the closure of bookings for the Lev Tolstoi train, an overnight train from Moscow to Helsinki.