"Russia, land of promisses and disappointments" Russia by Pavlik_NL
Russia Travel Guide: 14,131 reviews and 35,673 photos
Russia is big, no huge, no enormous ... 1/6 of the world's surface is Russia and as you then realise that 5/6 is for all other countries, it might bring a little light in how big this country is. And yet, most of it is in tourism undiscovered and so one can understand that the potential is as enormous as the country itself. A potential that, like a flower after a long, cold winter, slowly opens and shows it's beauty. My girl Irina is from this country and we already open the eyes of many in my environment. The idea of a country where snow always is everywhere is well-spread, but completely wrong. Most of the country has a land-climat and so has hot summers. In central Siberia temperatures of over 30 degrees are quiet normal. Irina herself is from the warm South of Russia: Kuban, East of the Black Sea and North of the Caucasus and partly subtropical! At Sochi palmtrees are along the boulevard and this sight is for many definately UN-Russian.
Okay, Stalinistic regime has destroyed a lot of local differences by it's urge to put the whole of Russia into a uniform state. From Rostov until Petropavlovsk towns look the same and most people speak all Russian (sometimes besides a local language). This rage to put the whole country in the same line, no doubt now resulted in the indepenance of many former Sovjet-republics. However, Russia's own culture holds many mysterious sides. The Russian Orthodox church (only look at the buildings) returned immediately after the fall of communism and brought a nice religious colour back on the streets. Furthermore, in natural splendour this country has it all. The endless Tundra and Taiga, the Bajkal-region, great rivers, mountain chains of Ural and Kaukasus, deserts and not to forget the amazing (volcanic) peninsula of Kamtshatka are yet unknown to most tourists, but surely promissing for many.
Problems for Russia are the difficulties around getting and confirming (in the country itself) the visa, the economical instability (although the last years here is big improvement) and corrupt law-enforcement create still a shadow over the potential tourism for this great nation. Thereby you have to organise much yourself when going to non-touristic spots, which requieres a lot of effort in finding the right information. Help from someone from within is most recommendable and enough Russians are very willingly to lent a hand in this. To my Russian friends I keep saying: believe in the future and progress will (slowly) follow.
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