It’s remarkable, every ex-Soviet Union country
I visit I can still feel the remains of the great empire it once was. The
Soviet Union left its mark on these nations’ architecture, politics, food, and
even its culture. Scattered across 15 different countries you will find old
military equipment, structures reminiscing a villain’s layer, dictator statues,
Gulag work camps and of course the taste of dill on everything you eat. It is huge,
fascinating and you will often find you are the only traveller in the area.
This is the former Soviet Union and one of histories most fascinating times!
Kizhi Island, Russia
Hidden deep in Russia’s off the beaten track Republic of Karelia are the UNESCO churches on the Island of Kizhi. This is the real Russia, small remote wooden villages whose locals still primarily make a living from farming and hunting. Kizhi couldn’t feel further from Russia’s glitzy high life in the capital. Hopping aboard a Soviet-era hovercraft we blast across the frozen lake ice passing by these intriguing villages before the giant UNESCO wooden church towers emerge from the black forested island deep into Karelia’s wilds. This is the Russia I was looking for, the Russia many believe to be long gone! Welcome to Kizhi Island deep in the heart of remote Russia!
Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia
As far as the eye can see is frozen dark blue ice. It’s hard
to believe that I am standing on a freshwater lake and not the ocean. Below my
feet is some of the most attractive shades of blue I have ever seen and below
that over 1km deep of lake. Nearby is Orkhon Island, an island wrapped in
mystery and is said to be the heart of Baikal. The worlds deepest and oldest
lake is home to 1/3rd of the worlds fresh water, it is also the spiritual home
to the Buryat people. Descendants of Mongols, the Buryats are believers in
Shamanistic traditions and are the protectors of Baikal. Only with their help
were we able to venture this deep into the wilds of Siberia. The first day on
the ice highways of Siberia’s, Lake Baikal and I couldn’t be more excited to
see what lays ahead on this epic Russian adventure!
I am not sure what it is, maybe it is the incredible architecture, the colorful domed churches or the massive Soviet monuments, but after all these years dreaming of traveling to Moscow, I finally made it. Entering the Red Square and walking across to the Kremlin was an epic milestone for me, the country with one of the hardest most expensive visas to obtain for westerners and I was finally here. Although I have been many places, Moscow is now on my list of top favorite cities. Do as the Muscovite’s do, down a vodka, enjoy the best of Russian cuisine and get lost in one of the worlds great cities! This is Moscow, Russia, nothing will prepare you for how amazing it really is!