Mother's Travels: Tour to Russia and China

Here is a brief account of one MOTHER EARTH NEWS staffer's tour to Russia, Soviet Central Asia, and China in the late 1970s, what she learned, and plans for subsequent trips.

| March/April 1980

  • 062 tours that teach - Shah I Zindah
    Even though the Shah-I-Zinda mosques and tombs in Soviet Asia are now museums, many people still make holy pilgrimages to the spot. The women in this group carried all the possessions, leaving the men unburdened.
    PHOTO: DAVID SACCO/MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 062 tours that teach - The Kremlin
    The golden domes and spires of the Kremlin, the heart of the Soviet empire, as seen from the Moskva River. 
    DAVID SACCO/MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 062 tours that teach - Mamadaviti Chapel - Samarkand
    LEFT: Mamadaviti (Father David) Chapel overlooks the friendly city of Tbilisi. RIGHT: These old men in Samarkand were delighted to rneet Americans.
    DAVID SACCO/MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 062 tours that teach - three panels
    LEFT: These Soviet Asian girls await their turn to try out for a folk song and dance festival. TOP RIGHT: An old cart with modern tires is a proper symbol for China today. BOTTOM RIGHT: The Great Wall of China is spectacular, and so is the view from the top!
    DAVID SACCO/ALAN FEIGENBERG

  • 062 tours that teach - Shah I Zindah
  • 062 tours that teach - The Kremlin
  • 062 tours that teach - Mamadaviti Chapel - Samarkand
  • 062 tours that teach - three panels

In late 1979 a number of MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers returned from our Solar Tour of Israel. Not only do the enthusiastic travelers now know a great deal more about sun power and its multiple uses than they did before embarking on their journey, but they've also experienced a unique culture, made new friends in a nation that was formerly composed of faceless strangers,  and undoubtedly come home with wonderful travel tales as well as exotic souvenirs.

"Travel is notwithstanding the hassles of canceled flights, missing luggage, culture shock, arid even an occasional bout with homesickness the greatest education, and the most enjoyable experience, that money can buy," says MOTHER EARTH NEWS Tour Director, Sara Pacher. "I always come home with so much to relate that I can't seem to stop telling anyone who will listen all about my latest fantastic journey."

To illustrate the point, Sara described her return from last year's tour to Russia and the U.S.S.R.:

Sara's Russian Remembrances

Our plane was late, so I missed my connections back to the North Carolina mountains and had to stay overnight in New York. Despite scrambling, regretful goodbyes, and a bad case of jet lag, I was still bursting with excitement about the trip when I climbed into a taxi.  



Unfortunately, my cab driver seemed to be the taciturn type, who answered my questions about the then-current gas lines with monosyllables. Undiscouraged, however, I finally blurted out that I was really exhausted after my long flight from Leningrad.  

"Leningrad!" he almost shouted, suddenly coming to life. "I'm from Leningrad myself." As luck would have it, then, I had an entrancedand captiveaudience all the way into the city.  



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