Russia – Final impression

Caucasus Mountains, Russia

October is almost over, so it’s time to say “Bye bye Russia” on my blog.
How did you like my travel impressions this month?

Russia is a large country, and I’ve seen only a tiny part of it. However, I can recommend places I’ve visited, i.e., Moscow and Saint Petersburg (with their vicinity), and Caucasus Mountains.
I hope to visit Russia again because of two sites: the Lake Baikal and Kamchatka.

What kind of place in Russia would you recommend the most?

p.s. Tomorrow we’re “flying” to a warm country. πŸ™‚
Stay tuned!

Russia – Lakes

Caucasus Mountains, Russia

It’s not exactly a lake on today’s picture, but it was probably the closest what I have. πŸ™‚
I wanted to write a few words about the Lake Baikal. I haven’t visited it yet, but it’s still on my list. The only problem, I dream of seeing it in winter… Maybe, you’ve seen amazing pictures of Baikal taken in winter? Unfortunately, I almost feel cold even from thinking about it. πŸ˜€

Lake Baikal is the deepest and biggest lake in world; one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s located in Siberia.

Have you seen the Lake Baikal (maybe even in winter)?

Russia – Mount Elbrus

Mount Elbrus, Caucasus Mountains, Russia

Do you know, what’s the highest mountain in Europe? Well, it’s a bit tricky question. Depending, how you define the border between Europe and Asia, one can say Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco, 4808 m above sea level) or Mount Elbrus (5642 m above sea level).
Let’s say here, that Mount Elbrus is the highest mountain in Russia (Caucasus) and Europe; and Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Western Europe and in the European Union. πŸ™‚

Elbrus, as you see in today’s picture, has two summits; they are inactive volcano domes (5642 m and 5621 m).

Russia – Hermitage Museum

Saint Petersburg, Russia

The Hermitage Museum is the most iconic place in Saint Petersburg.
For me, it was the most important place I wanted to visit there. It was a nice surprised to me, the Hermitage was for free for students, so I went there a few times πŸ™‚
All collections are really impressive as well as the buildings!

Russia – Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Saint Petersburg (used to known as Petrograd and Leningrad) was founded by Peter the Great in 1703. Today, it’s the second biggest Russian city (after Moscow).
Saint Petersburg is a great tourist attraction. It has a lovely historic center, wonderful museum the Hermitage and many many bridges (more than in Venice). πŸ˜‰

Saint Petersburg is a very popular destination in summer because of β€œwhite nights” (=long daylight). Of course, there are many places that are located quite far to north and you can experience there this phenomena; but Saint Petersburg is somehow famous because of white nights. πŸ™‚

Russia – Moscow Metro

Moscow Metro, Russia

The Moscow Metro (subway) is one of the longest in the world and one of the most beautiful ones!
When you’re in Moscow, visit different metro stations; they are like museum!
Not all stations are so impressive, so you don’t have to stop everywhere, but consider e.g., stations: Mayakovskaya, Kiyevskaya, Elektrozavodskaya, or Taganskaya.

Russia – Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow

Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia

Saint Basil’s Cathedral (the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed) is the most iconic building in Moscow.
Before going to Russia, I saw many times pictures of the Cathedral, and later I was still very impressed by this church! Simply amazing!
However, I have to mention, I was quite disappointed when I saw a similar church in Saint Petersburg… I thought, that Saint Basil’s Cathedral from Moscow is so unique and special.
The other surprise to me was that Saint Basil’s Cathedral is a museum! Well, it’s still an impressive museum. πŸ™‚

Russia – Kremlin & Red Square (Moscow)

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Moscow, Russia

The Kremlin and Red Square are the best known attractions of Moscow.
(They are located just close to each other, but they’re separate places.)

The Moscow Kremlin is a fortified complex; with palaces, cathedrals, walls and towers.
It’s an official residence of the president of Russian.

Red Square is the most famous city square in Russia (or maybe even in the world?).
What’s interesting, its name doesn’t come from the red color. The original Russian name of the Square can be translated as “beautiful” or “red”; the Square is beautiful so that’s the real meaning of its name. πŸ™‚

Russia – Moscow

Moscow, Russia

Moscow is the capital of Russia.
It’s the largest city in Russia and even one of the largest in the world.

Is Moscow worth visiting?
-Absolutely!

What are the main attractions of Moscow?
-From my point of view, it’s the Red Square, Kremlin and Russian metro.
There is much much more in Moscow to see; this is just my must-see list. πŸ™‚

Russia – Trans-Siberian Railway

Moscow, Russia

The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Vladivostok.
As the Trans-Mongolian Railway, it goes from Moscow to Beijing (China) via Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia); or even farther to Pyongyang (North Korea).

The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway in the world and it crosses 8 time zones! Sounds exciting!

For many, it’s the trip of a lifetime or a dream trip.
I haven’t done it yet, but this trip was in my head for a long time. However, I’m aware it’s a bit long, and actually boring; and it’s good to do it in summer, but I dream of visiting Lake Baikal in winter… Maybe, I’ll do it at some point in future, but I’m not so cray about it any more. Well, I still think it’s a unique experience!

If you’re curios how trains look like etc., check my favorite “train-website” – Seat 61. πŸ™‚

Have you taken this trip? How did you like it?

Russia – Tourism

Caucasus Mountains, Russia

Russia is a large country with plenty of interesting places for tourists.
The most popular destinations are Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Many people visit only these two cities with some nearby places; and no wonder why, they’re beautiful and the easiest to be reached or explored.

Then, there is the famous Trans-Siberian Railway route, and Siberia with Lake Baikal.

I could list here a few more cities, however, as a subjective ranking, I have to mention also mountains (Altai and Caucasus) and amazing Kamchatka.

What’s your favorite place in Russia?

Russia – Visa

Moscow, Russia

The majority of nationalities needs a visa to enter Russian territory.
Depending where you’re from, a Russian visa may be quite expensive, and also the procedure to obtain a visa may be more or less complicated.

However, there are some exceptions from the rules.
It’s possible to travel to Russia without visa if you go and back by ship (there are some restrictions, so check everything carefully before traveling).
The other special way of visiting Russia without a visa is e.g., during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, however you need to have a ticket that may be more expensive than a visa (depending on your nationality).

Russia – Religion

Russia

Based on all characteristic churches seen in Russia, it’s kind of natural to say, that Russia in an Orthodox country. However, it’s a bit misleading. It’s true, that the Orthodox is the main religion in Russia. But it’s important to remember, that during the Soviet Union period, religions were eliminated and replaced with atheism. So these days, there are also many atheists in Russia, as well as smaller number of other believers.

Russia – Alaska

Caucasus Mountains, Russia

Alaska used to belong to Russia until August 1867, when it was sold to the United States of America. The price was about two cents an acre, what makes 7.2 million USD.
Many US-citizens were unhappy with this transaction, however after the discovery of gold and oil in Alaska, the opinion changed.

p.s. Today’s picture shows the Caucasus Mountains, not Alaska.

Russia – Soviet Union (USSR)

Russia

The Soviet Union (the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, USSR) existed (only?) for 69 years (1922-1991).
However, it was so intensive (and painful for many) period that it’s easy to have the impression it lasted much much longer.

I was planning to write a bit about the Soviet Union, but so many many (!!!) things happened during these 69 years, that I’m not able to make it short. There were lots of negative, horrible events, but there were also positive ones. And when you ask random 100 people from all countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union, plus from e.g., Poland or Germany, you get so many different stories that it’s just not possible to make it short.
So, I’ll leave it without a comment…

Russia – Reign

Caucasus Mountains, Russia

From the history lessons, I well remember 3 names of Russian reigns:
-Ivan the Terrible (also known as Ivan IV Vasilyevich or Ivan the Fearsome)
-Peter the Great (Peter I or Peter Alexeyevich)
-Catherine II (Catherine the Great)

I believe, Peter I was the “greatest”, however all mentioned above changed “Russia” a lot, and made it much larger and stronger country (empire).

Russia – Matryoshka Doll

Moscow, Russia

Matryoshka Doll is a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another.

Matryoshka seems to be a traditional Russian doll. However, it was invented at the end of 19th. century, and later presented in Paris, as an old Russian toy. Anyway, the idea was apparently quite clever, because these days, Matryoshka Doll is one of the symbols of Russia.

Matryoshka Dolls follow different themes. They may consist of β€œRussian women”, as well as represent characters of Soviet leaders; everything is possible. πŸ˜‰