We managed to hop aboard the train with just minutes to spare.  Sergey led the way, with DH following close behind and Karen and I bringing up the tail.  We were soaking wet from the rain, shoes soaking from slip sliding as we ran from the parking lot to therminal and then to the correct train and carriage.

We got a second class “cell” with 4 pallets.  First class only had 2 pallets per compartment, so Sergey bought us 4 tickets to ensure our privacy.  I call it a cell because apparently there are old trains and new ones.  Our old one looked like nothing less than a prison cell.  The only thing missing was the en suite toilet.  Instead, we used a common toilet at one end of our train carriage.  Needless to say, the slosh pit was putrid and I practically had a fit when Karen touched anything in there with her hands.  We used a lot of antibacterial concoctions.  I sprayed the seat, covered it in paper, and lifted Karen onto it.  All without falling as the train swayed, chuga-chuga along.

Our agency director was in a first class carriage, and he helped us by ordering food and tea for us.  It took two hours, but we finally got food.  We took some fantastic photos, but due to Internet constraints, I can’t upload photos at this time.  More about that later.  This link gives an overly attractive view: http://www.seat61.com/Ukraine2.htm#trains but the reality is not nearly as appealing.  The compartment quickly became overheated.  They have a thing for overheating here.  Apparently they believe that the hotter it is, the healthier.  Personally, I’m not fond of saunas, and sleeping in 30 deg. C. heat makes me ill.  Finally, around midnight, we figured out how to open a window.   All in all, Karen got a good 7 hours of sleep.  DH and I managed at least 3-4 uninterrupted.

Update: DH is now allowing me to upload small photos.  You can see we are having fun.  These photos are from the first 1-2 hours…..