My first train ride was full of unforgettable moments. Before even getting on the train, we had a 5 1/2 hour wait at the train station in Kyiv. Wow, the station was packed with people.

My first “cultural” experience happened when I went to the restroom. While I was standing in the room, I realized that a woman was mopping the floor around me. For a brief moment I thought I had made a mistake and went into the wrong room. After quickly looking around, I realized she was the only female in the room and was only doing her cleaning job.

The train arrived and we got into the wagon. There are 3 levels of comfort on an overnight train in Ukraine: 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The only tickets available for us were in 3rd class (open wagon), and my berth was an upper birth on the aisle. Which meant that every person who walked the aisle passed by my place!

It was quite the ride! While it was cold outside, it was toasty inside the wagon. I remember laying on my mattress, looking outside as the landscape changed. It had been a snowy winter and there was lots of snow on the ground.

Darkness comes early as well in the winter and once it is night on the train most people start to snooze. I was still feeling jet lag and snooze I did.

Tomorrow I will arrive in Lugansk!