I was telling you the other day about the wonderful goodies I received from my Moscow blogging pal, Maria. Enroute to Moscow now is a package of NZ skincare for her and, in the course of telling about this via email, we were chatting about my experience with trains in Moscow.

I’ve been to Russia twice. Once when it was still the Soviet Union and then about one or two years after the Soviet Union went kaput. I have many wonderful memories of my visits but a standout is taking a train in Moscow. I’m sure it’s not quite as dramatic as I remember it but – I recall riding down a very steep escalator into what seemed the very bowels of the earth. I could see the platforms below and they seemed shrouded in dim light.

I could speak Russian. Not fluently but enough to get by. The friend I was travelling with spoke Russian fluently and so we were confident we’d pass as locals. Yeah right! We get on the train and everyone looks at us. Glares at us really. I remember the train was a tad packed and dingy looking.

Maria sent me a photo showing how times have changed. There are now trains with themes. She tells me they aren’t very common but she managed to catch one recently and sent me a photo. I presume the theme is artwork and I can also see the train is far more modern than the one I caught on my first visit.

I wonder if these trains suffer from graffiti. I was in Sydney during May and hopped on a city circle train that was festooned with graffiti. Urban art I suppose but it does look dingy.