They lived happily ever after, and they died on the same day. ~russian fairytale ending
Ruled for more than a thousand years by the Orthodox Christian church, the Czars, and the Soviets in succession, Russians are pragmatic and proud. Russia is the largest country in the world, vast beyond comprehension and populated by a multitude of cultures. Slavs and Vikings, Mongols and Kazakhs and a hundred other ethnic groups speaking almost as many languages call Russia home. It stretches from the Baltic to the Black Sea and all the way to the Bering Strait.
If you visit one of the modern cities, like Moscow or St. Petersburg, you will find grand monuments, shopping, wide avenues busy with traffic. You won’t have to look too hard to see a Lamborghini or Porsche alongside a Russian-built Lada. Oil and gas have made some people wealthy while others scrape by, selling war medals along the road side. The Caucasus mountains bordering Georgia are wildly beautiful and dotted with log cabins which evoked memories of the Appalachian mountains in the USA and reminded us (again) that no matter where we travel, we have something in common with the people we meet.
Russians love their folklore and fairytales. A Russian friend told me, “we want our stories to have happy endings but know there is always a lesson lurking in the dark.” Our travels in Russia made for great times. We drank more vodka than we had planned, ate more potatoes and borscht than we wanted, and made friends along the way.
Dispatches from Russia
We make bonds with people we meet on the road, on the virtual highway, and sometimes over lots and lots of Russian vodka.
More travelers tales about Russia coming soon!