Solo traveling is one of the most wonderful experiences you can have. Sure, it’s daunting when you first set off, even if you’ve researched everything you can possibly think of! But once you are on your way there are so many amazing new people to meet, and so many sights and experiences to share, that you’ll forget you were ever nervous about leaving home! [Read more…] about Basic Vocabulary to Know When You Travel!
Scandinavian Dreams: Planning A Once In A Lifetime Trip To Norway!! Can you imagine a place that is full of wild and untamed spaces, yet has some of the most modern and stylish cities in the world? Well, that place really exists, and it is Norway, on the southern tip of Scandinavia. It’s also pretty easy to visit from the United States, too. In fact, you can have the trip of a lifetime to this fabulous location, and the info in this post can help you. [Read more…] about Scandinavian Dreams: Planning A Once In A Lifetime Trip To Norway
Here are 5 fabulous reasons to take a Viking River Cruise! Of course, I cannot imagine a reason not to take a Viking River Cruise because there are no negatives. My travel buddy, Suzanne, of Adventures of Empty Nesters, and I loved it! [Read more…] about 5 Fabulous Reasons to Take a Viking River Cruise!
The recent world cup festivities highlighted the beauty and welcoming atmosphere Russia has to offer. It’s not always easy for people to grasp just how large Russia is. Covering an area of over 17 million square kilometers, and with a population of just over 144 million people, there isn’t much Russia doesn’t have to offer visitors.
A rich heritage
Russia is home to thousands of museums full of interesting and important works of art from some of the world’s most influential artists, which is why it is the perfect travel destination for culture vultures. The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is home to more than 3 million pieces alone. Expect to see artworks from Michelangelo, Raphael, and Matisse, to name but a few.
In addition to the more traditional pieces of art, Russian architecture is rich and varied. With gold and ornate palaces to marvel at, expect to be blown away by the opulence and cleanliness of even the most everyday buildings. Even the subway in Moscow is special.
Interesting Fact: Russia occupies 10% of all the land on earth.
Tantalise your taste buds
Despite not being particularly well known for its cuisine, Russia offers a tasty and simple range of traditionally cooked dishes. Even the homemade Russian soup, Borscht, is a real treat.
If your taste buds have trouble adjusting to the Russian cuisine then you can always numb them a little with some famous Russian vodka. Going to Russia and not trying the vodka is like going to Italy and not trying the pizza. You haven’t tried vodka until you’ve had a shot in the land of its origin.
Interesting Fact: Russia spans two continents and 11 time zones.
Cover more ground
When you’re visiting such a large and diverse country you want to experience as much as possible. Enjoying several stops from the comfort of one of the many cruise holidays in the region, or enjoying the scenery while cruising up the river Volga, offers the perfect solution to the adventurous tourist. You get to enjoy all of the main sites without being constantly sitting on transport or packing and unpacking.
The Volga is the largest river in Europe, being equal in size to the Ganges and the Nile. A cruise up the Volga takes in many attractions and places of interest, such as Volgograd and Moscow, as well as letting you soak up the scenery at your own pace.
If you want to reach some of the more remote parts of Russia, there is an excellent railway infrastructure. The Trans-Siberian line is renowned as the world’s longest railway line. You can also learn about the surrounding countryside while you travel.
Interesting Fact: Russia has a coastline on three oceans, the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans.
An abundance of culture and literature
Russia is well known for the quality of its theatres. The Bolshoi, in particular, is world-renowned and provides an excellent opportunity for you to enjoy an opera or drama. Theatres and Opera are a lot more common in Russia, with large portions of the population regularly attending a local theatre.
If you’re a fan of classic Russian literature, you will come across the places dedicated to the likes of Tolstoy, Pushkin, and Chekhov, and can even visit many of the places mentioned in their books.
Interesting Fact: Russia is home to Europe’s two largest lakes, Onega and Ladoga.
As well as being home to over 100,000 rivers and Europe’s two largest lakes, Russia offers a surprising diversity of nature. Whether you want to experience the peaks of a mountain looking over the vast pine forests or a vast desert, Russia has it all.
When a country has such a diverse landscape, it is also home to a varied selection of wildlife. Snow leopards, polar bears, and pikas are just a few of the animals you may get to see in their natural habitat if you’re adventurous. The Siberian tiger is possibly Russia’s most famous four-legged inhabitant. Growing to over 3 metres in length and weighing more than 300kg, we suggest you don’t try to stroke the world’s biggest cat.
Interesting Fact: Russia is home to about 120 ethnic groups speaking more than 100 languages.
Whether you’re a fan of colourful and amazing architecture, or interested in the history of the Orthodox Church, Russia offers an abundance of amazing cathedrals. Situated in the Red Square in Moscow, St. Basil’s Cathedral is a magnificent structure covered in blue domes and gold, while the Cathedral of the Annunciation features spectacular gold domes. Many of the cathedrals and other building of significance cost very little (or are free) to visit.
Interesting Fact: There are 75 million members of the Russian orthodoxy religion in the country.
Time to get packing?
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You must add beautiful Prague to your bucket list!
It is far beyond me to write a history of Prague, but I must mention a few things about the City of a Hundred Spires. The beauty of the city is undeniable, but let me say this: I didn’t see a tenth of what I wanted to see, there just wasn’t time. And, here is a travel tip: don’t go in summer! I will go back to this city and explore, but it will not be in the summer crowds. It was so busy there were moments I felt panicky! But, Prague, don’t worry, I shall return!
A royal visit to Moritzburg in Saxony, Germany! Augustus the Strong, or Augustus II der Starke, in German, loved his hunting lodge! (Stark….hmm, wonder if that relates to the Starks of Winterfell on Game of Thrones…..)
Winter Is Coming
Frederick Augustus II was of the House of Wettin, a dynasty of German royalty and nobility, and was incredibly strong. He got his nickname by showing how he could break horseshoes with his bare hands. He was known as the “Saxon Hercules”. In addition to being Elector of Saxony, he was elected King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. My travel buddy, Suzanne, and I loved strolling around his hunting lodge. I was sad we were not permitted to take photographs in the lodge. I have never seen so many stag “horns” or “racks” in my life, but happily there was also art, and beautiful architecture. The setting itself was majestic.
Augustus the Strong was instrumental in the production of Meissen Porcelain, one of the finest porcelains in the world. He “rescued”, or kidnapped, depending on the version, Johann Friedrich Böttger from Frederick I of Prussia. Bottger ended up in jail as Augustus the Strong tried to force him to tell him how to manufacture gold. Bottger never manufactured gold, but he did discover the temperature at which to bake the clay to achieve the finest porcelain results. Meissen Porcelain is still manufactured in Meissen, Germany, and Viking Cruises took us on a tour of the town, and of the factory. We watched artists creating the clay pieces prior to baking.
After our lovely visit to Meissen, we went to beautiful Dresden! Stay tuned.