Posted by Hans on October 05, 2001 at 13:06:57:
In Reply to: Conditions on trains Kiev to Simferopol posted by Phred on October 03, 2001 at 15:46:08:
You are in luck with so many responses. About a week ago I cam back from Crimea and used indeed the stretch between Kyiv and Simferopol 2 ways. Yeah, in between 16 days on the Partenit beach, getting accostomed to pebbles to lay on. But that is another story.
OF TO SIMFEROPOL
I would travel from Kyiv to Simferopol and on that way I would pick up my friend who would get in in Zaporizhzhya. On the way back she would descend of course in Zap again and I would go on all alone [snifs..boohoo..] to Kyiv again
I wanted first class/2 berth sleeper. We had not seen each other for a month, so I am not interested to meet anybody else in a train compartment. I meet all the time fine Ukranians, but now I was only interested in meeting a very special one 8-) [Max, Emil, you can understand this, don't you? 8-)]
Getting The Tickets
That was somewhat of a hassle. Rostick who bought them for me had a slight problem. He could get tickets for the Simferopol direction, but they were only second class. First class was sold out. No sweat, as I would experience second class now also. Nice test for what some people had been writing about it. Nevertheless I got all four seats.
The return leg seemed at first a problem as the lady at the ticket window did not want to sell the tickets to Rostick for reasons unknwon to us. It appeared later that she did not want to tell him that she needed some info from Zap, and that she could not get that. Luckily two days later there was a girl selling the tickets that was friend of Rosticks and she took care of two first class tickets for the way back to Kyiv.
Second Class/4 Berth Sleeper
I had carriage # 00. Yeah, I know crazy number, must be done by a computer lover. No it must have been an extra carriage put on the train, because there were many travellers. Indeed the toilet was as was to be expected and the rest seemed below par, because when my friend jumped in she declared the carriage to be substandard, a real old one.
Now you can put the upper berths in such positions that they are angeled at 45 degrees, but that leaves still not really enough room to move around with my 185 centimeters. She is, uhm…, indertall so for her no problem, but I felt somewhat akward.
Rostick had warned me that perhaps the train stewardesses might want to sell to me fours sets of linnens, after all I had four tickets, didn't I 8-). No sweat, they were very nice and only came with one set.
I took train # 12, because that arrive at 08.41 in the morning in Zap. Train 39 that is considered somewwhat better would arrive at about 4 AM. So that was NO option as anyone can understand.
We arrive nicely on time in Simferopol and the driver from the Partenit guest spotted me right away because of the supersignal red clothing I was wearing, but that is another story.
[Yeah, yeah, I'll tell that one also some time, ---smile---]
BACK TO KYIV
We took train # 12 because it had a decent departure time and arrived in the afternoon in Zaporizhzhya. We do it the easy way.
This time we had first class and I must say that the train stewardesses were as nice as the ones in 2nd class. The difference is that the sheets and the blankets are of better quality and… oh boy… the upper berthes are gone. Also there was a little pack of Kleenex and two small towels per person Yes, indeed cleamer toilet!
But why the rugs on the floor and the little table cloth? It always gets in the way.
Turn tje latch on the lock of the compartment door. Switch the extra security lock in the uppper left hand corner of the door into the horizontal position and presto… The door is locked… Quite good. Anyway quite good as far as I am concerned
Under the benche there a secure place for your luggage. If you sit on the bench and are in the compartment of course. The size is about half the seating bench. So take care that things that you could/would need at night or in the morning are out of the bag, hehehee…
If you need water you can buy it on the train, but if you do not like water with bubbles bring your own! They were selling a rather bubbly and rather salty variety that I did not particularly like. Of course when one is shipwrecked one can drink a cup of seawater to stay alive, but our condition was in such way desparate. Or you should have a water purifier like Del has, that would have made quite some difference. Anyway, think about it and maybe it is not the regular water they sell. Prosit! Or Mud in your eye! [That's what they say in Canada, Del?]
The station in Simferopol
That is indeed quite a nice place to see and sip some coffee. Uh, my friend warned me for the quality, but I tend to see it a a sort of experience. We were there quite ahead of time and sat on the terrace waiting for the the train to arrive. The bags were in the bag room and well guarded. Only the weather was somewhat too grey, but then again we were nearing the end of September.
There were some streetdogs who were desparate for some food. Hmm. Throw them some if you are there. One tried to chew up the plastic floormat, but he was kinda young and playful.
Well. Phred. That is about it. Oh and do not forget your passport otherwise you can not board the train and the stewardesses keep your tickets in custody and return them before you arrive.
Special thanks to Emil who always decribes very well what our "boarders" can expect if they consider a trainride.
Deutsche Bah = German Railway Sytem = http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de
Private Website by some dedicated Russian train fans = http://www.poezda.net
: I am visit a friend of mine in Kyiv right now. We are planning a trip to Yalta. As far as I know this means that we either fly or take a train from Kyiv to Simferopol and arrange other transportation from there.
: My friend is telling me that the train ride is "uncomforatable". (This is her choice of English english words. Needless to say, she is Ukrainian.)
: My question to the board is, assuming that I buy a ticket in one of the better classes on the train such as a 2 or 4 berth compartment, what is the condition of the train ride?
: By the way, my working assumption is that she is really telling me that she really wants to fly rather take the train.
: I had been looking forward to taking the train because I do not do this often. However, it is hard to argue with an 18 hour train ride.
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