It has to be said, I very much doubt that anyone will ever be able to match the hospitality that has been shown to us here in Mongolia. What incredible people.

Being on a train for 5 days is hard work. For one thing there's the lack of sleep. There are loads of reasons for the lack of sleep: being bounced up and down constantly, lights from towns and other trains shining in the windows all night long, going through 5 different time zones, inconsiderate cabin-mates... I could go on.

So, we've just spent 4/5 days on the train getting from Moscow to Irkutsk, and I'm learning that jet lag is still possible even when you travel that slowly over land. Not. Fair.

So on our arrival at Moscow a random stranger gave us a pass for the metro with 10 rides left on it, and when we got to the hostel we were ushered into the kitchen for a free cup of tea (with milk!) and given free apples. We were also offered free plastic cups when we asked where we could buy them for the train journey ahead. First impressions; I love Moscow! 

So me and Rich got up at 4:30am (2:30am UK time), to catch the train to St Petersburg this morning. Yes, it was horrible.

The Bridge of Love in Helsinki. This is just down the road from our hostel, and we cross it every time we go out anywhere.

Couples write their names on a padlock and lock it to the bridge, then throw the key into the river below.

Love Bridge, Helsinki

Checked out Helsinki train station today, to make sure we know where we're going on Saturday (don't wanna miss our train!). It's actually a pretty awesome looking train station. A huge old building. Might take some more photos of it when we go back, but here's a quick one I took from by the platform today...

Helsinki Train Station

Less than 24hrs in, and despite all our careful planning, we've already discovered something we need but don't have - Turns out hostels don't always have cups. We've managed to source milk, sugar and tea bags, and the kitchen even has a kettle, but there are no cups.

Why is it that when your alarm goes off to let you know that it's time to get up for work, your mind refuses point blank to pay any attention. But when you have a whole load of nothing to get on with, 4am is suddenly a perfectly reasonable time for your body to wake up...