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Tumbling with the Russian Bear

March 2nd, 2010 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on Tumbling with the Russian Bear

With memories of the Cold War still dancing in our heads, travel to Russia may not be high on your list of vacation or expatriate destinations. This country of contrasts is the largest in the world by size, twice that of the United States, covering ten time zones and climates that vary from sub-arctic in Siberia to temperate in the south.

Looming over the rest of Europe with a brutish history, Russia attracts and repels at the same time. The European Union is safe and predictable. Russia, on the other hand, is still exciting and mysterious after so many years behind the Iron Curtain. Remember a swell bunch of guys known as the KGB? You might still encounter a bit of institutional paranoia as you wind your way through the process of obtaining a travel Visa.

Why go to the trouble? Here are a few reasons:

1.St. Petersburg is a social and cultural mecca that rivals any city on the face of the planet. Expect a smorgasbord of museums, concerts, theaters, art galleries, movies, and nightclubs. New York City? Where’s that?

2.The history and architecture of Moscow casts a hypnotic spell.

3.The Trans-Siberian Railway is a 5,663 mile ride from Moscow to Vladivostok. Six days. Seven time zones. Ends in the Far East, just past Korea. In a word (or three) essential Russian experience.

It might not be a great idea to up and move to Russian without a visit or two under your belt first but, after that, who knows?

The JetSetter Team

Flickr / Ed Yourdon