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Views #19 | Intermediate 5

The Train Trip

Devon talks about his train trip across Russia.
Train going through tunnel.

Todd: Devon, I hear that you took the train across Russia.

Devon: Yes. I started in Moscow travelled through Russia, Mongolia and ended up in China.

Todd: Wow! That's a long way.

Devon: Yes, it was. It took three weeks. I did it as part of a tour with 10 other people.

Todd: Man, that's a cool trip. That must of cost a lot of money.

Devon: It did cost a lot of money but not a lot of people can say they have done that. I looked in, I researched the trip several months before I actually took it. A friend and I did it together and there was one other American and the rest of the people were from Switzerland.

Todd: OK. Cool! What was the landscape like?

Devon: A lot of it was flat and for miles around you could see absolutely nothing and as you got into Siberia there was scattered trees. When we got into Mongolia you could see some Camels every once in awhile but besides that there was a whole lot of nothing.

Todd: Wow! Just wild camels.

Devon: Wild Camels around the drinking hole. Yes, saw that more than once.

Todd: So how did you eat on this train?

Devon: We stopped several times along the way and upon every platform you could buy food that local people were selling. A lot of it consisted of dried fish and other types of Russian delicacies and a lot of noodles that you heat it up with hot water. Every train had hot water on it on every carriage so you were always able to make noodles if you were desperate.

Todd: So was this a luxurious train or was it a pretty basic...?

Devon: It was pretty much the most basic you could get. There were no animals on board but sometimes they were coal-heated so it was very basic.

Todd: Wow! Would you do it agian?

Devon: Great question. Would I do it again? Yes, I would do it again but I would wait several years to do it. One because it does cost a lot of money and two because there are many other things to do, to see.

Todd: OK. Thanks a lot Devon.

Devon: You're very welcome.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

end up

I started in Moscow, traveled through Russia, Mongolia and ended up in China.

If you 'end up' in a place it is your final destination.  It is where you stop traveling. Notice the following:

  1. How did you end up back at your house?
  2. We ended up eating at the McDonald's down the street.

looked in

I looked in, I researched the trip for several months before I actually took it.

When you 'look into' something you find out information about it, ask questions and do research.  Notice the following:

  1. When we looked into his background we discovered that he was a criminal.
  2. I need you to look into a solution for this problem.

drinking hole

Wild camels around a drinking hole.

A 'drinking hole' is literally a hole in the ground that has water in it.  Notice the following:

  1. There are very few drinking holes in the desert.
  2. Every day the women walk to the drinking hole to get water.


Sometimes they were coal-heated which is the most basic you can get.

When the black rocks, 'coal', are burned to make heat, whatever they are heating is 'coal-heated.' Notice the following:

  1. The cabin was coal-heated so the air was very smoky.
  2. Very few houses are coal-heated anymore.

see nothing

For miles around you could see absolutely nothing.

When you 'see nothing' it means that there is absolutely nothing to look at. Notice the following:

  1. It can be scary when you are in a boat and see nothing around you, only water.
  2. I was looking in the sky, but I could see nothing like he was describing.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

Try These Lessons

020 Going Home
20 Going Home
Victor chats about his flight back home.

019 The Train Trip
19 The Train Trip
Devon talks about his train trip across Russia.

018 Love Story
18 The Love Story
JJ talks about a time she fell in love.

017 Good Movie
17 Good Movie
Jamie talks about a film that he really liked.

016 The Jock
16 The Jock
Conrad talks about the sport he likes best.

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
ended up • looked into • drinking hole
coal-heated • see nothing
  1. Things that are cause a lot of pollution.
  2. Driving through some states you can for hours.
  3. The horses stopped for water at the .
  4. I many different universities, but I liked this one the best.
  5. I knew we were lost when we back where we started.