Russian railway station Kirill Kukhmar/Getty Images



而比贝阿铁路古老一些的竞争对手跨西伯利亚铁路则显然更受欢迎。自1916年通车以来,这条路线吸引了很多大牌人物前往乘坐,包括旅行作家彼得·弗莱明(Peter Fleming),保罗·西洛斯(Paul Theroux)和科林·图布伦(Colin Thubron)。但正是贝阿铁路——这条由斯大林在1930年代发起,并于1984年在列昂尼德·勃列日涅夫(Leonid Brezhnev)手下完工的不受待见的北方支线——为我们了解莫斯科和圣彼得堡等大城市之外的俄罗斯社会情绪提供了更有利的窗口。而今,贝阿铁路沿线的土地是实实在在的普京领地。

我是在读了德芙拉·墨菲(Dervla Murphy)的《意外穿越西伯利亚》(Through Siberia by Accident)一书后动了乘坐贝阿铁路的念头,尽管这位勇敢无畏的爱尔兰大妈曾经在该列火车上简陋的卫生间里滑了一跤,摔断了一条腿。进一步驱动我做这件事的原因是我的曾祖父曾在1890年代参与建设了跨西伯利亚铁路的东北部分,但我从未到过这条铁路的终点站符拉迪沃斯托克(也是我爸出生的地方)。于是我拉了三个朋友,一起踏上了为期两周的横跨西伯利亚铁路奇幻冒险旅程。

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