This was actually a no work day as several team members took the train from Moscow to St Petersburg. It was a great opportunity to see the changing landscape and get a flavour of modern Russia. For those of us used to British trains, it was a real treat to travel on a Russian train. They are very fast and comfortable and even have earphones if you want to watch the film showing. Through the windows we saw the huge blocks of flats and cosmopolitan metropolis give way to a vast flat landscape with thin trees. As we travelled north snow began to appear until we were passing through a frosty snow covered landscape, not something that those of us from Oxford often get to see.
Every now and then we passed through large towns which were once again filled with large modern blocks of flats, and then villages which were clusters of wooden built chalets with smoke pouring from the chimneys. At first they lay snugly nestled amongst the vast green forests but later in the journey formed part of beautiful snowy landscapes.
We arrived in St Petersburg in the early afternoon and between us did a mix of sightseeing, working on abstracts and meetings.