Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

Direct trains from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius to such far flung destinations as Sochi and Adler (both on the Russia's Back Sea Riviera) and to Anapa and Chelyabinsk recall the days of Soviet travel. We scan the departure boards for a few exotica.

article summary —

Of the three Baltic capitals it is Vilnius which presently has by far the best range of train services. This is not the result of native enthusiasm for railways, but more an accident of geopolitics. The Russian Federation includes the exclave Oblast of Kaliningrad. Overland travellers between Russia proper and the Kaliningrad region must perforce transit Lithuania. And the Lithuanian authorities insist that Russian transit trains all stop in Vilnius. Apart from obvious destinations such as St Petersburg and Moscow, there are some exotica like the weekly train from Kaliningrad to Chelyabinsk (Челябинск) which brings a bit of colour to the Vilnius departure boards every Monday afternoon. Chelyabinsk lies just east of the Ural Mountains.

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About the authors

hidden europe

and manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

This article was published in hidden europe 58.