Lands of Ice and Snow

The Journal (Newcastle, England), February 19, 2007 | Go to article overview

Lands of Ice and Snow


Byline: By Tony Henderson

China is looming for the travellers from Sunderland to Saigon in Vietnam.

Tyne and Wear Museums educational worker Jennie Beale, 31, from Albany in Washington, is travelling with film crew Jon Pegler and Kate Harvest on the 9,300-mile train journey, the story of which will be the first exhibition at the Listed Monkwearmouth Station Museum when it reopens this summer after a pounds 1m refit.

We left them in Warsaw, Poland, from where they journeyed to Brest in Belarus. "At the Brest railway museum we met some great people, so proud to show off their trains to the English visitors."

In Russia the trio made two overnight and one two-day train journeys.

"The snow sparkled under the sun as we entered the birch woods of the Romanov memorial site, where the bodies of the murdered Tsar and his family were found."

Then it was on to Red Square in Moscow on a Sunday afternoon with crowds taking in the views, and ice skating.

"Awe-inspiring architecture in the Moscow Metro. The system is so efficient it rivals Tokyo, with trains arriving every two minutes, and that was over the weekend, not rush hour in the working week.

"Irina Trophimova was a fantastic host in Moscow, showing us around the botanic gardens, translating for us at the Moscow Metro Museum and taking us to a Russian Gypsy restaurant. Their botanic gardens are being redeveloped with the addition of a huge, towering glasshouse."

On to the city of Novosibirsk (New Siberia) which now has 1.5 million inhabitants, but is only just over 100 years old. …

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