A mythical train that has crossed the length of Russia since the end of the nineteenth century. Departing from Moscow on a journey that will last seven days, he journeys first towards the Urals, continuing on straight across the Siberian taiga and then alongside Lake Baikal and via the Amur River to reach Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan.
In 1900, the Trans-Siberian Express was the chief attraction at the Paris Exposition and in 2005 this railway line will also be stealing attention during an unusual exhibition for which cartoonist and architect François Schuiten has produced the scenography together with his team. Visitors wander as if through a travel guide, thus having the singularities even secrets of a third of the planet revealed to them.
In the spring of 2005, author Benoît Peeters made this journey of 9,289 kilometres on the Trans-Siberian Express, accompanied by photographer Marie-Françoise Plissart. He met with the Tatars and Islam in Tatarskaya, the Evenks and their shamanistic rituals in Novosibirsk, and the Buryats and Buddhism in Ulan-Ude; in short, he came into contact with unexpected peoples, cultures and religions. Moreover, Russian history also comes extensively to the fore in his travel diary from the religious schism in the 1650s to the tragic demise of Tsar Nicholas II in Ekaterinburg and, naturally enough, Russian literature is not absent either, with great writers, such as Chekov, Dostoyevsky and Pasternak. The accompanying photographs show fascinating people and breathtaking natural landscapes with immense swathes of birch forest, fir trees and the steppes.
In addition, François Schuiten has produced magnificent drawings especially for this book.
This is an absolute must for all readers with a taste for adventure, now finally able to experience what they have secretly only dreamed about: a journey on the famous Trans-Siberian Express. Enjoy your trip!