I really do. If I had to rank my favorite modes of transport for long distance travel I would have to say: train, plane, car, bus, furgon- and the car only goes above the bus if I'm driving or in the front seat. I love taking the train though. One thing that I was most disappointed by in Albania is there (nearly) non-existent train system meaning that I had to take furgons or buses everywhere. I wish the train system was better in the US. I think my next big trip might even be to go across America by train- so much better than a road trip . . .
In Russia I love third class. You may think I'm crazy (the Russians usually do- so far I've been the only foreigner I've seen in third class). But let me explain. On long distance trains, first class is a compartment with two beds, second class has four and third class has no compartments, just 54 beds arranged in sets of six in an open carriage. If I could afford first class and it was with someone I know, then that wouldn't be so bad. Again, with people I know then second class isn't horrible, except that with people you don't know (or know but don't like) or when it is hot, second class can be unbearable. You feel trapped in your compartment, there is no space to move around, you are always in someones way and it can get stiflingly hot. Third class however, is perfect for people that don't care too much about privacy and want a little room to maneuver. I like to think of it like a big moving hostel. As long as you have your earplugs and sleeping mask, then you are golden! Except for Moscow to St. Petersburg (hot, uncomfortable) I have been in third class so far on this trip. Unfortunately I have two upcoming long rides (Ulan-Ude to Ulaanbaator to Beijing) in second class. The third class either doesn't exist or was sold out when I got my tickets. I just hope it's not hot. . .
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