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Russia, Stunningly Beautiful

December 27, 2014

Moscow-Russia

The first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking about Russia is greatness. I mean, literally. Russia is the largest country in the world and by a long shot (it covers 1/8 or one eighth of the Earth, the populated area of the Earth I mean).

Russia is so big, that it spans through Eastern Europe and Asia alike. While most of its land area is in Asia, the majority of its 143 million inhabitants are living in the European continent.

We can safely presume that Russia is an European culture, both geographically and (especially) culturally.

With a land area of 17,1 million square kilometers, the country is divided in the following regions : Central Russia (it includes Moscow the capital and it’s the richest region, featuring spectacular historical sites and architecture), Chernozemye (epic fights took place in here during WW2 and this region is also known for its very fertile soils), NorthWestern Russia (it includes the historical city of Sankt Petersburg, the former imperial capital  of tsarist Russia and two beautiful lakes : Ladoga and Omega plus beautiful medieval forts), Kaliningrad Oblast, Southern Russia (the warmest part of Russia, bragging with beautiful resorts such as Sochi, that has an almost subtropical climate), Volga Region (the industrial heart of Russia and widely known for its history and culture), Urals Region (another wealthy region, especially in natural resources), Siberia (the largest region in Russia, with the biggest rivers in the world, awesomely beautiful lakes and harsh winters) and Russian Far East (the coldest region in Russia, well known for its beautiful natural parks, beautiful landscapes -lakes, mountains).

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Winston Churchill once said about Russia that is, let me quote, “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”.  I can vouch for that and add something : Russia is stunningly beautiful, breathtaking and splendid, also a place of contrasts : filled with modern urban centers and yet with yet untamed wilderness sites. Bragging with its imperial culture yet boasting worn out its Soviet era monuments and an ultra hip urban culture, especially in the large cities.

Speaking of cities, St Petersburg is also known as the Venice of the North, with its majestic monuments palaces, cathedrals and waterways. I must mention Catherine Palace, 16 miles outside the city, that served as a summer residence for various tsars, especially known for the Amber room. While you’re here, experience the White Nights, i.e. 3 weeks of 24 hour daylight from mid June, a period when the city never sleeps, literally.

weather-in-st-petersburg

If you like to travel by train, I have three words for you : Trans Siberian Railway! This is maybe the best and most iconic mean of rail travel in the whole wide world, making for a week long voyage from the capital (Moscow) to Beijing (China’s capital), taking the tourist to an epic trip through wilderness covering over 5600 miles.

Moscow is Russia’s capital, a beautiful and cosmopolite city, wide open to visitors and culture aficionados.

Trans-Siberian-trip

 What to do in Moscow

If you’re a stranger in Moscow, go see the Bolshoi Theatre, home of the Bolshoi Ballet Company, one of the best in the world.

Moscow is world renowned for its night life, being filled with ultra-trendy (and expensive, yes) places, a city where luxury really means luxury and home of the most beautiful women in the world, la crème de la crème. Go visit the Red Square, here you can find some of Russia’s epic monuments : St Basil’s cathedral, the Kremlin but also the GUM department store. While in Moscow, go see Lenin’s mausoleum, where the embalmed corpse of Vladimir Ilici Lenin, the revolutionary leader sits embalmed and exposed for visitors since 1924.

moscow-kremlin-night

Food and Drink in Russia

 

Russian cuisine offers an international experience. You can eat absolutely anything here, but the specialties include kasha (porridge), blini (a sort of pancakes filled with various stuff like caviar, sour cream or butter), ponchiki (doughnuts), pirozhky (fried rolls with meat fillings), borscht (beetroot soup) and pelmeni (dumplings made of meat).

Regional drinks include chai (tea) and the national “dish”, I mean vodka. Russians love vodka, which comes in all sorts of blends and it is often colored with herbs and spices (zubrovka, ryabinovka,starka). Other popular drinks are Nalivka, Krushon and Nastoika (all of them contain alcohol of course).

 Visa requirements for visiting Russia

If you want to visit, you’ll require a valid passport and a Visa

russian cuisine

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