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Moscow: In Search of a Good Movie

You may have your hands full seeing the sights and writing postcards during your stay in Moscow, but why not leave a little time free to catch a movie? For Muscovites, there’s a certain prestige to going to see a film, simply because there just aren’t many films being produced in Russia since the end of the Cold War. Movie houses in Moscow run the gamut from state-of-the-art to turn-of-the-century and provide a great venue for meeting old friends or making new ones.


Moscow's Best Expat Pubs

What's that? You say you're enjoying the sense of travel: the sights, sounds and smells of Moscow but you kind of miss the familiarity of home? Don't worry, Moscow has some of the best expat hangouts to be found in Eastern Europe:


The Kamchatka Peninsula: Thermal Baths and Volcanoes

In the untamed reaches of the Russian Far East sits the Kamchatka Peninsula: home to a spectacular wilderness offset by 28 still-active volcanoes, and a soothing array of thermal baths just waiting for the likes of YOU. Hot springs are Kamchatka’s geothermal treasures. A network of small villages links the peninsula together, offering travelers an unparalleled opportunity to mend their sore and aching muscles while enjoying one the world’s last untamed areas.


Russia - The Amber Room

Amber is a unique substance often found on the shores of the Baltic Sea that is actually fossilized pine tree resin. Often tens of millions of years old, amber ranges in color from pale yellow to deep orange and is usually transparent. Often one can see insects, flowers and even feathers that have been surrounded by fresh resin and preserved down to the smallest detail. Amber can be said to be a window on a world millions of years old, from which very little remains to this day.


Russia: Marc Chagall, Painter of Symbols

Marc Chagall was born poor, lost his beloved bride to illness, and was persecuted for being Jewish, but through his paintings, he showed the world the optimism that color could bring.


Russia - Novaya Zemlya

Novaya Zemlya is one of the most northerly points of land on Earth, lying at latitude of approximately 73 degrees north. As this is about 7 degrees north of the Arctic Circle, Novaya Zemlya experiences long stretches of never-ending darkness in winter and weeks on end when the sun never sets in summer. "Summer" is a relative term on Novaya Zemlya, as the islands are heavily glaciated and what ice-free land there is, is treeless tundra. Novaya Zemlya is part of Russia and traders from the Novgorod area first traveled there over 1,000 years ago. Explorers such as Willem Barents and Henry Hudson visited Novaya Zemlya in the 16th and 17th centuries respectively, as they searched fruitlessly for the famed Northwest Passage to the Orient.


Holidays in Russia

There are quite a few official holidays in Russia, all of which are usually moved to the nearest Monday or Friday, so people can enjoy a longer weekend.

The two biggest holidays are New Year (January 1st) and Victory Day (May 9th), both of which are celebrated with fireworks, heavy drinking, and official parties. New Year is the Russian equivalent to western Christmas. A tree is lighted and children receive presents from Father Frost, the Russian equivalent to Santa Claus. Victory Day is a much respected holiday that conmmemorates the Nazi defeat at the hands of the Russian army. Over 20 million Russians died in WWII and the memory is still alive in the new generations.


Russia: The Kremlin, the Palace of Russia

Few structures in the world create thoughts of wonder, fear, and awe the way the Kremlin in Moscow provides. Since its inception in the 14th century, the Kremlin has been the home of the leaders of Russia. Representing the heart of Russian politics, the Kremlin is the driving force of life within this country.

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