An August 2001 trip
to Petrozavodsk by Lise
Quote: Skiing in Karelia without going too far into the middle of nowhere.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 10, 2001
Don't forget how early it gets dark in the north!!! Start heading back around three just in case. DO NOT HEAD BACK AFTER THREE. There are no lights on the trails and no patrols. Bring a powerful flashlight, some snacks, and regular hiking emergency stuff just in case; don't forget an extra pair of dry socks.
To get to Petrozavodsk, there are several night trains from Moscow (Lyeningradskiy Vokzal) and Saint Petersburg (Moskovskiy Vokzal). Yours truly recommends using the service centers in all train stations.
In Moscow: Leningradskiy Vokzal. The service center is upstairs from the main ticket hall.
In Petersburg: Moskovskiy Vokzal. You MUST use the Inturist office, which is near the end off the main hall (with Peter's head) furthest from the trains.
In Petrozavodsk (to leave): If you are standing in front of the ticket hall, facing the trains, go to your left about 50 meters. The service center, which has normal business hours with frequent "technical" breaks, has its door *facing the same way you are* and is on your left. It's before the bistro.
The Murmansk trains have not been privatized yet and are notoriously disgusting. Avoid them at all costs. Ask for a Karelia train.
Women travelling alone should request a place in a zhenskiy kupee if they have them, or to travel platzkart, which is a lower class in which there are no cabins. This can be safer because everybody can see if someone begins to bother you, and you aren't locked in a cabin with strangers all night! At LEAST insist that you be placed with another woman. [Ya odna(1 person)/ Mi odni(2 ppl). Ya khochu beet/Mi khotim beet sdrugoy zhenshchinoy, pozhaluysta. Sposibah bolshoyeh.=I/we are alone. I/We want to be with another woman, please. Thank you very much.]
Chambery, United States