Saransk to Kazan

Russia World Cup 2018: Saransk to Kazan

From Saransk I took the early morning train to Kazan. The station was packed with football fans that had spent the night there. This time I was not on a free FIFA train, it was third class for me today. As it did not depart until 6 am I decided to sit for this 9 hour journey. Everyone else went to bed. On the journey I met a young girl who had lots of souvenirs from the previous nights match between Costa Rica and Panama. She had travelled 4 days by train to get here.

Saransk to Kazan

So far I have highlighted lots of positive things in Russia. The one thing I have not commented in is the service.

Far too many times I have seen Russians deal with a problem, whether it be asking the volunteers for directions, or a query at reception at your hotel. What happens is all the people get together to discuss this. In the meantime someone else may arrive and they are ignored as all four (in this example) staff are busy. This scenario was repeated time and time again in all cities.

Kazan was a pleasant surprise. Once again it has a fortified Kremlin, and inside this were a number of small museums telling the story of the tartars. (In one city earlier I was looking on the menu for something Russian to eat, struggling I opted for the fish and chips because it came with tartare sauce).


This time I had the luxury of a day off as it was a rest day from the football as the first round was over. Now the knockout stage would begin with France v Argentina.

Once again the Argentinians were here in large numbers, as all the South American teams I have seen have been.

Argentinian fans

After the match I had time to collect my bag and find somewhere near the train station to eat and watch the next match.

I asked for the menu to eat and was told there was a 40 minute delay with the food ....I had just enough time. So ordered. After I put the order in they came back to tell me that the delay was now an hour. I did not have this much time, so cancelled the food order. They immediately presented me with the bill for my drink and seemed to expect me to leave.

Kremlin across the water

Instead I spoke to the manager and explained that they could have done things differently. Maybe tell customers one hour in the first place, or even offer the option if food which could be served quickly. I did have time for a salad and a cheesecake before leaving the Uruguay v Portugal game with twenty minutes to go to catch my next and final train to Moscow.

I was only across the road from the station and had allowed 40 minutes. To get into any station railway or metro, stadium or shopping mall, you have to go through security. Your bags are x-rayed, they ask you empty your pockets, and that you switch on any electronic equipment. To exit you must use another door, and then if you want to come back in you go through the whole process again.

The only shortcut I had found was that you did not need to empty your pockets every time, as they did not detect anything.

So there was this to get through and then there was the train. All the trains I have been on have been 15 carriages long. I am not sure how long this is but my guess would be a quarter of a mile. I was in Wagon 1, which of course was the far end.

I was on the train with 20 minutes to spare and heading to Moscow for my last game.

Kazan to Moscow

Russian Hostels


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