Went back to my hotel, took a shower and checked out at 11PM. The train would arrive at 11:36. Here it is on the departures board, number 9, Moscow - Warsaw.
This is the expensive Russian sleeper from Warsaw to Moscow. It cost €68 from Minsk to Warsaw. I could have done this route for €10 with a change of trains in Brest, but I chose not to for the purpose of taking the Siemens sleeping cars that I have experienced on the route from Paris to Warsaw a month earlier.
The train on the platform.
Inside, once again, same type of compartments as I saw on the Paris-Moscow sleeper.
And here is where the fun began. I could not sleep, as I had just slept during the day. The compartment was full, so I basically had to. Finally, at around 3am I fell asleep, but this was about the time we arrived in Brest, where the passport control and changing of the wheels would take place. There would be a 2.5 hours time between our arrival in Brest and departure. Long break. Belarussian border control came on, checked everything and, yes, again trouble... The lady walked away with my passport and came back with a guy. She pointed a finger at me then he asked her "him?" she nodded and he asks, in Russian: Are you the Polish?. I say yes. He said: "you don't have a visa". As he is holding my passport with a visa page open at 4 in the morning.
Turns out, they the problem is that I was not a typical tourist. Since there is no border control between Russia and Belarus, there is no stamping by the Belarussians on exit. What is expected on the Moscow train is that one gets a stamp on the Belarussian transit visa and no stamp on the Russian visa, then one gets a Belarussian visa stamp on the way out at Brest. So we arrive with just one stamp. However, I left Russia and entered Belarus by plane, so I received an extra stamp at Minsk, which was my second entry. The guards were convinced, however, that this was a third entry and told me I am here illegally. Finally, I convinced them and they saw that the stamp said "MINSK" which proved that I entered by air. Everything was fine....
Off we went to the regauging facility, which took over an hour and a half, returned to Brest, got our passports back and off we went West.
The river Bug. Border between the former Soviet Union and the current European Union. Where two very different worlds meet, yet where there was never a border here before 1945 and the current border divides what used to be one town... Terespol and Brest. What a weird world we live in.
At Terespol, the Polish border guards come on. The other passengers in the compartment are Russians and are grilled, visas checked and fingerprinted. I am the only Polish citizen, no questions asked, scanned passport, no stamp and that's it.
Even sneaked a picture of the Polish border guard
Edited by Barciur, Yesterday, 11:01 PM.