November 22, 2017
Review about Golden Eagle Winter Wonderland Trans - Siberian Eastbound by Branka Kollin
Moscow - Vladivostok WINTER WONDERLAND by "GOLDEN EAGLE" Train
Aa 15 day trip on the trans-Siberian railway from Moscow to Vladivostok was a fantastic way to get acquainted with real Russia and to have a glimpse of Mongolia.
We were very happy we had taken the advice of our agent Dora ( from East West Tours) and spent a few extra days in Moscow. Our Moscow guide Olga was a germ. She met us as if we were her relatives. Her excellent English and professionalism made us feel at home. We explored central Moscow on foot and with a private driver Igor , who was as knowledgable as Olga ( with sufficient English), learned about Moscow’s dramatic history and view highlights such as Kremlin, Red Squire , the GUM shopping arcade, and the city’s renaissance, baroque, and art nouveau architecture. Bolshoi Theater was a different story of itself being a symbol of Russia. Unfortunately, were unable to see behind the scenes of the theatre but we greatly enjoyed ballet Romeo and Juliet. It was a good idea to book the tickets in advance (thanks Dora for this) as the place was so crowded.
The further adventure took us across the vastness of Russia and Mongolia with fantastic views and individual tours at every stop.
Lake Baikal was an extraordinary place to visit and our guide Ilya made it even more memorable. He treated us with his homemade tea and pancakes! Novosibirsk was a little disappointment. A very "soviet " city with a formal guide and not friendly weather.
Hotels seemed to be quite up to Western standards, except perhaps Hotel Vladivostok.
Smoking was not allowed in the train compartments, only in the spaces between the cars and this rule was observed so if this is of any relevance to you, there will be no problem.
Regarding the phones, we had a phone using ATT 3G service which got service only in the cities, not in the countryside. It was not a problem, though.
Overall we were extremely satisfied with the tour company East West Tours (Nordic Saga), the transfers they set up, the guides, the hotels, and the whole experience. We would use this company again. Thank you, Dora, personally.
Branka and friends from Austria