Singing, hugging and drawing scowls from grumpy commuters, some 240 activists packed themselves aboard a Peace Train on Monday and set out for an international women’s conference in Beijing.
Some travelers slung guitars over their shoulders. Some carried antinuclear banners. Some wore tiedyed T-shirts.
During the three-week trip, the mostly female travelers will share 17 train cars and hold seminars in eight cities to promote peace and women’s rights.
“There’s certainly a spirit of adventure here,” Carolyn Keefe of Minneapolis said as she boarded the train, already crowded with passengers ranging in age from 20-something to over 70.
The train stopped Monday night in St. Petersburg, Russia, where the travelers planned meetings today with activists and officials.
The next stop will be the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, to be followed by visits to Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Kazakhstan and China.
The Peace Train was organized by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.