Senior Citizen Travel to Russia

Sep 3rd, 2010 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Visitors from almost all countries will need a visa to enter Russia . You may get your visa at this site for just $29.  Others sites ask $55.  Save some money/rubles (1 Russian ruble = 0.0328 US dollars) or 33 rubles in one dollar. This from Expedia on the visas and on ticketsTourist Destinations are numerous.
 
A travel guide to Russia is a must.  This one is quite loaded and full of pertinent information for senior travelers. For most westerners, Russia is associated with its European cities–Moscow, St. Petersburg and Murmansk. This is the heartland of Imperial Russia, and these great and ancient cities often become the focus for most tourists. However there is much more to Russia, a country that spans eleven time zones and two continents, ending less than 50 miles from North America. Within this vast expanse lie the largest freshwater lake in the world, rivers and forests teeming with fish and wildlife, awe inspiring volcanos, and towering mountains.  Want to get real adventurous?  Try Siberia.
 
Russia is huge.  It is the largest country on earth, with enormous tracts of land that have been opened to travellers only in the last few years.  I have always been enthralled with Lake Baikal ‘The Pearl of Siberia’ and the fact that it is the world’s oldest and deepest lake with an average depth of 2,442 feet.  National Geographic notes that is one of the aquatic marvels of the world, a virtual inland sea so vast that it has been called the Australia of fresh waters. But scientists and environmentalists say that Lake Baikal is sliding toward an ecological catastrophe due to continuing industrial contamination that has its roots in the Cold-War era.  This is so, so sad… but back to our visit to Russia.
 
Travel to Russia is a unique opportunity to get acquainted with Russian history and culture. Russia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.  Seniors, now you have a chance to explore its land of striking beauty and diversity, from magnificent capitals, Moscow and St. Petersburg, to the measured life of Siberian cities. The whole new world is waiting for you to be discovered. 

Your visit will probably commence with Moscow. Moscow is unlike anywhere else on earth. There are about 12 million inhabitants. It’s the wealthy economic nerve center for one sixth of the world’s land mass and has over 120 ethnic groups and nationalities. It’s a diverse and vibrant city with a strange combination of ancient traditional Russian architecture and newer Soviet tastelessness.  And Red Square.  Although the Square is no longer witness to the imposing parades of May Day, it remains a profoundly impressive space. Delimited by the stark severity of the mausoleum, the expansive facade of the world-famous GUM department store, and the exuberant colors of St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square is, and deserves to be, the requisite first stop for any visitor to Moscow.  Small groups of 12 or 15 people at a time are let in to see Lenin’s Tomb.  Don’t miss this one.
 
The famous St. Basil’s Cathedral was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible and built on the edge of Red Square between 1555 and 1561. Legend has it that on completion of the church the Tsar ordered the architect, Postnik Yakovlev, to be blinded to prevent him from ever creating anything to rival its beauty again.
 
Moscow’s landmarks include Red Square, The Kremlin, St. Basil Cathedral, Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Moscow Subway, Victory Day Parade

Now we are off to St. Petersburg.  St. Petersburg is located on the banks of the Neva River, which flows into the Gulf of Finland. It is the northernmost city, with over four million inhabitants. It is also one of the world’s most beautiful destinations, with lavish palaces, beautiful parks and canals, hundreds of bridges and world-class museums that hold the treasures of Russian emperors and the history of the entire nation. Millions of travelers head to St. Petersburg each summer making it one of the top 10 travel destinations in the world.
 
St. Petersburg Landmarks include The Hermitage, Peterhof, Catherine’s Palace, Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaak’s Cathedral, Savior on the Blood.

One of the most special regions in Russia is the famous ‘Golden Ring’ of cities to the North East of Moscow. This is the ancient heart of Russia and the old whitewashed walled cities filled with venerable onion-domed churches fulfill everyone’s imagination of medieval Russia.  Golden Ring Towns include Uglich, Yaroslavl, Kostroma , Suzdal.

Lest we forget… Secretary of State William H. Seward agreed to purchase Alaska from Russia for only $7.2 million in 1867. At the time, critics referred to this as “Seward’s folly”, “Seward’s Icebox” and “[President] Andrew Johnson’s polar bear garden”.  With approximately 365 million acres, that amounts to less than 2 cents per acre. Still, critics thought Seward was crazy, and the deal only passed the Senate by one vote.

I conclude with some travel tips; be sure to see the 5 essential Tips for Booking Travel to Russia on this page. Спасибо и до свидания (Thank You and Goodbye!).
Oh yes, do bring up my Best Russian Websites page and check out lots of other helpful links.    jeb



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