Journey over a Huge Country | Learning To Know Russian

Journey over a Huge Country

Any trip means using транспорт (transport). And what if we are talking about a trip in a truly huge country? Then транспорт is critically important! Let's see how we can move around in the largest country in the world.

If you are about to take a long trip (and that's how it almost always is in Russia), the best way, of course, is to take a самолет (plane). Everything is as usual: go to the аэропорт (airport), go through регистрация (check-in), and go to the выход на посадку (boarding gate). Usually the biggest problem is that the flight задерживается (gets delayed).

Actually, a trip on a самолет is nothing special. You practically don't need any Russian; all the information in airports is repeated in English. Travelling by поезд (train) is a totally different story.

A trip by поезд starts at the вокзал (station). Firstly, don't mix up the железнодорожный вокзал (railway station) and автовокзал (bus station). Secondly, make sure to verify beforehand what specific ж/д вокзал (railway station) your поезд is leaving from. Moscow, for example, has nine railway stations.
Find on your ticket поезд № (train number), вагон № (coach number), место (seat), and дата и время отправления (date and time of departure). For example, Поезд № 102, вагон № 8, место 10, дата отправления 12.03.2014, время отправления 17:45. Notice that the time is always stated in a 24-hour format, here as 17:45.

In order to find your train at the station, you will use the information panel labelled Отправление (Departures). If the panel seems too complicated to understand (all the information is in Russian and often abbreviated), ask someone, for example this way: Как найти поезд номер 102? (How can I find train number 102?).

You can buy tickets for a plane or for a train at an агенство (agency). Look for the ads saying «Авиа и ж/д билеты» (plane and railway tickets).

When buying a train ticket, you should know that купе is a separate compartment for 4 people and плацкарт is a common compartment for 54 people. Also, don't forget to verify the время в пути (travel time) – you are in a very big country and it can take the train several days or even weeks!

Very often, an авиа (air) or ж/д (train) trip starts and ends with a trip in a такси (taxi). Be prepared for the first people to meet you at the аэропорт (airport) or the вокзал 
(railway station) to be persistent taxi drivers with the words, «Такси! Куда ехать?» (Taxi! Where are you going?). They usually have private cars without meters.

Beware of possible fraud. It is always better to вызвать такси (call a taxi) from a reliable company or find a stand with official taxis in the airport or at the train station.

Best regards, Denis Ivanov
Co-Founder of "Learning To Know" 
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