The change is often subtle, sometimes abrupt, but the view from the car / train is ever changing.
The countryside of our starting point, Nottinghamshire, is well tended fields of corn and rapeseed plants. The hedgerows are smart and neat and the whole area is flat and mostly treeless – there are certainly no enormous forests – what trees there are mark the border between fields or screen houses from road noise.
This gentle landscape of fields and trees continues through middle and southern England and northern France.
The first big change comes as we drive through Belgium when the landscape changes to vast forests of tall pines with dark green needles and red trunks.
The forests continue all through Germany and Poland and into the Baltic countries. Across the water in Finland the landscape is similar but now accompanied by large smooth rocks dotted between the trees.
Russia has shown us a range of landscapes, initially pine forest which quickly gave way to mosquito infested swamp around st Petersburg then deciduous forest and as we travel south it changes to the pretty wildflower meadows and arable farms of the steppe. It’s like version of England where the soil is black.
Further South, level with Rome, the soil is sandy, the fields brown as if the hay has already been cut this year. The wild places look vaguely Mediterranean but the trees are still like those found in england.
On our way back up to Moscow we saw the change in reverse. The countryside became greener and lusher again.
I let you know what we see as we head east so watch this space…