When I was learning German history, Russia had an important part to play in keeping Napoleon at bay. The Russian aristocracy were well known for their extravagant lifestyle. Even John Paul Jones after the American Revolution went to Russia to build a Navy there.
Evenso, this glittering past was built on the backs of the serfs… their descendants dwelled under Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin.
Travel to Russia. See for yourself the rich heritage, the twelve time-zones, the cities, museums, and cathedrals. Frankly, I want to see St. Petersburg.
Peter the Great built the city to be a “window to Europe.” It was the capital until after 1918. It is a magnificent haunting masterpiece reminiscent of Prague. The streets and the waterways contrast with the brooding majesty of the Winter palace.
This city is three century years old. It is definitely a monument to a past glory.
On a more personal note, my sister-in-law lived in St. Petersburg for several years as a student and as a museum guide. I have always thought that the people of Russia were white Caucasian, but she is definitely from Mongol heritage. She tries to explain the beauty of this city, but as Americans we have no idea what she means.
And, being from the American West, where everything is extremely new, how can she explain of buildings that are many century years old?
How can she explain about something that we can never understand unless we see it. Sigh.
Here is a service “Travel All Russia” who will help you travel to Russia, get visas, and provide tours to St. Petersburg and Moscow. Even though the Iron Curtain is down, it is still hard to get a visa to Russia. So this visa offer is worth it. They will also help you find a good airline to Russia.
Russia has the mystery of the east and the practicality of the west. It is worth seeing.