Привет! I’m Bridget Rodino, a music student at Northwestern University, traveling on the Easter Festival Train with WFMT’s Cydne Gillard, and a group of people from Chicago. Being on the Mariinsky Orchestra’s Easter Festival Train is a special experience. We all have compartments next to one another, just two cars behind Maestro Gergiev himself. Two cars in the other direction is the dining car. Every table is decorated with fresh flowers; intricate woodworking surrounds us.
We have eaten a few meals on the train so far and each one has been delicious. Some of our favorite dishes have been the kasha, a white porridge breakfast staple, and borscht, a traditional Russian beet soup. One adventure was that the spicy mustard served with our breakfast-just a little bit and your eyes water.
Sleeping on a train is surprisingly comfortable. Keryn and I are both studying music performance at Northwestern and love experiencing the life of a traveling musician. Most of our logisitics are arranged by Katya Gorbacheva from the Mariinsky Foundation of America. Her bright, energetic personality keeps us going throughout the day between the numerous destinations. Nina, our car’s personal stewardess, keeps the environment homey, waking us up in the morning asking, “Kafe or chey?” (Coffee or tea?) We love waking up to her warm smile.