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Through Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway
After a week in Mongolia, we boarded a train in Ulaanbaatar and continued our journey into Siberia.

The first stop in Russia was Utulik: a tiny village on the south coast of Lake Baikal, the world’s oldest, deepest lake.

If you eat at one place in Russia, eat at this glorious, dingy little truck stop on the outskirts of Utulik. People told me not to expect much from Russian cuisine, but they were very wrong. Favourite dish: ‘The Surprise’, which as best I could tell was a giant dollop of mashed potatoes in a bowl of borscht.

Back on the train to Moscow, we passed dozens of small rural stops, but every once in a while we’d pass through cities with monolithic soviet-era stations.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow, a building which dominates the skyline like an evil supervillain’s lair.

Lenin looks over the MosExpo exhibition in Moscow.

The MosExpo grounds in Moscow are ringed with pavilion buildings, each dedicated to a former Soviet territory.

The Historical Museum at the Red Square, Moscow.

After a couple days in Moscow, we travelled north to St. Petersburg.

It was a long climb up to our hostel in this historic St. Petersburg building.

The Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.

The Grand Staircase, entrance to the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

The ceiling of the Hermitage’s Gold Room certainly lives up to its name.

In this hall in the Hermitage hangs 332 portraits of generals who took part in the Patriotic War of 1812, painted by George Dawe.

Prison Courtyard: Trubetskoy Bastion at the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg.

Ceiling in the Peter and Paul Cathedral, St. Petersburg.

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