A knock on the door awakes me. One of the cleaning staff wants to empty the trash. I notice the train has stopped in the middle of nowhere. Just as the man is finished emptying the bin I hear loud footsteps. One by one camouflage dressed men walk past my couchette. Fifteen in total. They carry a backpack and hold a machine gun across their chest. One of them has a sleeping pad on this backpack. Perhaps a luxury that one is lucky to have for the hard night sleep ahead. Or maybe the sergeant's way of showing that with higher responsibility comes higher comfort.
The landscape begins to change from small valleys to minor mountains. There is no more snow here than near Istanbul but it seems and feels colder. Snow crystals blinks in the grass and occasional trees we pass in the valleys.