Everything is wonderful – except the price. NB: 50% midweek discount. And even then it was over 11 thousand roubles for a single compartment.
Well, I am not an oligarch, it’s just that it was the winter of COVID-19, and no vaccine yet. Of course I didn’t want to have people around – a four-berth compartment in the Red Arrow is generally OK, but you know, one doesn’t sleep in a facial mask!
Besides, I didn’t have any annual leave that year – self-isolation, quarantine, etc. I mean, I could throw in for a single night on the train the money I would otherwise spend for a two-weeks’ vacation.
Apart from the price, I am positively happy with the Grand Express.
The personnel is nice, well-behaved and very accommodating. I asked them a lot of questions – being tired after having spent the day on the road, my brain was a bit slow. I asked how to do the bed, and how to move the table, and how to operate the toilet – they were patient and very helpful.
The interior looks like a Soviet era elite train. Not that I’ve seen any of those, just my imagination. Look through the photos, you’ll see.
The compartment is actually a ‘double’ for single use. There are two beds, one over the other, and a sofa on the opposite side, under the TV-set. The TV has various channels in various languages.
On the wall under the TV-set you’ll see the remote control, I think it’s for air-conditioning which I didn’t use, and power sockets.
When you enter, you see the table already set – fruit, bottled water.
The slip of paper is for your breakfast, you can order it the night before. You can also order your dinner, or go to the restaurant car, I’ll tell you about it later.
What else? A safe and wardrobe, a hair-dryer, a clothes brush.
Much more important, a private bathroom! Toilet, washing basin, even a shower!
Disinfecting gel, of course – sign of the difficult COVID times. As usual, shampoo and shower gel, toothpaste and toothbrush, towels. I love it!
The dining-car, old-timer classics. There weren’t may people, and the service was fast. Cards accepted. I ordered pasta carbonara – it was the cheapest on the menu ))) Green tea, served in a tea-pot, dessert. I hate tea-bags in tea-mugs, I like real tea made in a real tea-pot.
Everything is fine with the restaurant, and the train on the whole.
Moreover, they will send you a taxi, free of charge! Very handy, especially if you have heavy luggage or if it rains.
The only thing I wish they had taken care of is the connection between the cars. It needs water-proof and insulation. I was in my theatre outfit, had a day-outing to Mariinsky ballet, and dripping rain from accordion connection is really not my thing!
In general it was quite an experience! But with these rates, once is enough.