The country that spans eleven time zones and two continents, ending less than 50 miles from North America, the third continent.The country that has some special influence on everyone: it may be love and admiration for one person and disappointment or even hatred for somebody else.
Russia’s political icons and ideologies may have tumbled but Churchill’s “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” remains an apt descriptive chestnut. Outsiders still have only a hazy grasp of daily life in Russia, and the unfolding effects of a growing market economy are surrounded by rumours about crime, drug-trafficking, queues to shops and a general end-of-the-world aura.
But with countless cultural treasures from the glittering imperial Russia of St. Petersburg to the timeless village life of Siberia, from Karenina to Zhivago, Russia remains a must-see destination. So grab your balalaika, turn off the samovar and meet up with Marias and Ivans at the Kremlin in Moscow, in the queue outside the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, in any one of the Golden Ring’s gorgeous historic towns and on your way through Siberia.