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1980/2020

First/Last visit:

Number of visits:

Personal Rating:

7

44/193

UNESCO Sites visited:

17/30

Places Visited:

Moscow, St. Petersburg, Pskov, Veliky Novgorod, Smolensk, Bryansk, Oryol, Kursk, Belgorod, Voronezh, Yelets, Kaluga, Tula, Tver, Vologda, Jaroslavl, Kostroma, Kirillov, Ferapontove, Vladimir, Suzdal, Iwanovo, Tambov, Nizhny Novgorod, Cheboksary, Penza, Saratov, Samara, Volgograd, Astrakhan, Elista, Ufa, Chelyabinsk, Ulyanovsk, Kazan, Volzhsk, Bolgar, Shumikha (Kurgan), Yoshkar-Ola, Kirov, Glazov, Perm, Yekaterinburg, Tyumen, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Barnaul, Tomsk, Taiga, Krasnoyarsk, Kyzyl, Irkutsk, Listvyanka, Ulan Ude, Blagoveshchensk, Birobidzhan, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Kaliningrad, Makhachkala, Derbent, Grozny, Vladikavkaz, Dargavs, Magas, Beslan, Nalchik, Terskol, Cheget Mountain, Mt. Elbrus, Pyatigorsk, Kislovodsk, Cherkessk, Maykop, Krasnodar

Highlights:

Moscow Kremlin, the Annunciation Cathedral, the Red Square with the brightly domed Saint Basil's Cathedral, GUM department store, Lenin Mausoleum, and other historical buildings around the square, all UNESCO. Metro. Novodevichy Convent UNESCO and adjoining cemetery of Russia's prominent families. Tretjakov Gallery. State Historical Museum. Sergiyev Posad monastery UNESCO. Gorki Leninskie, once V.I. Lenin's personal house. Modern City Towers and Skyscrapers. Arbat Pedestrian street. Kolomenskaya church of Ascension UNESCO. Yaroslav churches of St. Nicholas Nadein and the the prophet Elijah with some of the Golden Ring's most amazing frescoes. Kostroma wonderful Ipatiev monastery, take bus No.14 from the station. Vologda Sophia cathedrale, but the real highlight is the Russian-Orthodox monatic complex of Ferapontov UNESCO, I took the local minibus to Kirillov about 3 hours, then a hired taxi for the remaining 20 kilometers. St. Petersburg the Grand Palace and amazing Gardens of Peterhof, best seen on a sunny day, Peter&Paul fortress with the graves of the Tsar family, Hermitage Museum in the Winter Palace (avoid the queues and buy tickets online, if you are interested in a discount, switch language to Russian!), next is Palace Square, St. Isaac Cathedral, a leisurely stroll along the banks of River Neva, Lenin Park like under the Soviet times, Catherine Palace with the reconstracted Amber Room (with over 500,000 pieces of Amber) in Puskin, 23 kilometers to the south. Novgorod Historical Center and Kremlin (Detinez) UNESCO, 9 of the previous 15 towers have been restored. Saint Sophia Cathedral. Pskov Kremlin (here called Krom), Trinity Cathedral and other Churches of the Pskov School UNESCO. White monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal UNESCO, including the Dormition cathedral with great iconostasis dating back to 1652, some painted by Dionysos himself. Suzdal has a great atmosphere. Transsiberian Railway, Trip No. 1 was in autumn 1980 in Soviet times, with relatively few stops from Moscow to Beijing via Mongolia, Trip No. 2 was 40 years later in winter times with temperatures as much as 30 degrees below zero, starting in Kirov to Vladiwostok, with stops in all Oblasts and Republics. Grozny Chechen Republic Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque, City Observation desk, Flower Park. Derbent Naryn-Kala Fortress UNESCO in Dagestan. Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe, go from Terskol by cable car. Kaliningrad Curonian Spit UNESCO, a peninsula shared with Lithuania. Cathedral with Immanuel Kant's tomb, Amber museum, World Ocean museum with the submarine. Elista Kalmykia Republic National Museum, Chess City, Buddhist temples. Kazan Kremlin with Qolsarif mosque UNESCO, besides is the Presidential Palace of the Republic of Tatarstan, Temple of all religions, Bolgar Archaeological complex UNESCO, Assumption Cathedral and Monastery of the town-island of Sviyazhsk UNESCO. Ulyanovsk Lenin museum and birthplace. Volgograd Mamayev Kurgan Memorial to the Victims of the Battle of Stalingrad. Buryatia Republic Ulan Ude Big Lenin Head monument, Ivolginsk Datsan Buddhist monastery. Irkutsk Lake Baikal UNESCO, best experienced from Listvyanka village, the Angara icebreaker, Decembrist house museums, Raising of the Cross church. Experience the Jewish Oblast in Birobidzhan with plenty of Hebrew signs and an old synagogue. Khabarovsk Military History and Territorial museums, Assumption Cathedral, Amur river cruise or in winter walk on the frozen Amur direction China. Vladivostok Primorsky Oceanarium, Fortress museum, Funicular with great views over the city and Golden Horn bridge. Yekaterinburg Romanov Death Site with the Church upon the Blood, Yeltsin Centre, Railway museum, Vysotsky Tower with great views. Tomsk one of Siberia's oldest cities, Wooden timber houses at Tatarskaya, Resurrection Hill with Lookout tower. Tuva Republic's capital Kyzyl is the center of Asia with a great Monument to celebrate it, National museum with ancient Scythian gold treasures, plus plenty of excursion options towards the Mongolian border.