Some worlds immediately grab our imagination, while others speak to us less powerfully, at least at first sight... Boreal regions, polar regions – what do these specific geographical designations mean to the average citizen? The answer may often be disappointing, vague and necessarily incomplete. One thing is certain: human beings like to be able to put a name on things, establish relationships between key words, create bridges between the references they are provided with and ultimately build a mental picture without intentional vagueness. The image becomes clearer when we see the names of places, countries and regions whose common characteristic is their size – vast regions called Scandinavia, Lapland, Russia, America, Siberia, or even the Arctic and Antarctica. La Terre du Froid pays tribute to these landscapes, peoples and cultures in an ecological paradise that, unfortunately, is now under threat from our contemporaries. But beyond this threat, we marvel at the incredible ingenuity demonstrated by the inhabitants of these regions in order to dominate, conquer or at least survive in this type of environment.
Life is a learning experience, and obviously people in these cold regions have learned to adapt to the climate and take advantage of the harsh conditions that prevail. This area of the park now boasts the Izba, a traditional Russian-style building that symbolises this way of life at latitudes and beneath skies that are not always clement. An izba is a traditional rustic house made entirely of wood, usually pine. But apart from being a typical building, it is there to meet the same needs as those of the people of North America, Scandinavia and the Arctic Circle. It provides protection from the cold and wild animals, along with basic comfort and shelter in an environment where this is often in short supply. How many stories, tales and legends have been recounted in these cosy, rustic retreats? From enduring myths to traditional songs, a whole world has been sustained and protected from the folly of mankind. But, here too, modern life has gained a foothold – for reasons good and bad. In La Terre du Froid, this is epitomised by two forms of transport that have substantially changed the way we travel: the railway and the aeroplane. The Pairi Daiza Steam Railway allows visitors to make an initial tour of the Worlds in just 20 minutes before going on to explore them at their leisure. As for the latter, the Beech 18 is a hydroplane that flew in directly from Vancouver. This beautiful iron bird may be currently be grounded, but it is in perfect working order.