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Russia: St. Basil's Cathedral

Built on the eastern edge of the Red Square in the mid 16th century, St. Basils Cathedral raises with colorful exuberance upon the landscape. The cathedral was commissioned to commemorate Ivan the Terrible's winning campaign against the Mongols at Kazan. Finished in just six years St. Basils was opened in 1561. Legend has it that Ivan had the architect, Postnik Yakovlev, blinded so he would not be able to build a structure more beautiful than this cathedral.


Exploring the Taiga: Russia's Frozen Forest

The taiga (from a Mongolian word meaning "cold jungle") is the world's largest ecosystem, covering most of northern Russia, from the Ural mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Together with the Brazilian rain forest, the Russian taiga is the major source of oxygen in the planet. The fact that is taiga is mostly unexplored and untouched by human development has contributed to its preservation. The area is extremely susceptible to fire, however, and large sections of the taiga have been lost to the flames throughout the years.


Some Thoughts About Daily Life in Russia

Daily life for the majority of Russians is not much different to life in other western countries, at least when it comes to the big cities. Most people work from 8 to 9 in the morning until 5:00 to 6:00 in the evenings and use public transportation. (All the major Russian cities have an excellent transportation system comprised of buses and metro lines. Most Russians dress with the latest European labels.


Lenin's Tomb - Russia

Few tombs in the world draw as many daily visitors as the mausoleum that houses Vladimir Lenin. Every day of the year a long line of fellow citizens, tourists, and political scholars line up to see the man that changed the world.


Kirov Ballet from Imperial Pride to Russian Eloquence

Few ballet companies can lay claim to staging and perfecting the great works of dance, introducing the world to the greatest performers, Balanchine, Nureyev and Baryshnikov, and taking the name of a Bolshevik revolutionary, but the Kirov Ballet is the company that can claim these and many other accolades.


Russian business culture and etiquette

Russia has a business culture and etiquette that differs significantly from much of what people are used to in the west. Much of it remains from a historical past where collectivism was the only way of living. Even by today's standards, Russia remains a country where co-operation and teamwork are standard practice in businesses, and where fierce competition is not common, even among rival companies.


The Hermitage Museum in Russia

If you are looking to see one of the greatest art collections the world has to offer, then a visit to The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is a must. It is one of the largest and oldest art galleries in the world and has an amazing account of human history. Located on the picturesque Neva River and held within six palace buildings, The Hermitage is an example of the amazing power of human creativity.


Lake Baikal in Russia

Lake Baikal is considered a natural treasure not only by Russians. Located deep into the Siberian wild and over the Mongolian border, Baikal is famous around the world for being the deepest and largest lake, and for holding 20 percent of the world's fresh water. Also known as "the lake of the living waters," Baikal has the unique quality of holding oxygen even in the deepest section of the lake, which allows for an extraordinary ecosystem and a chain of thermal springs that originate right at the bottom of the lake.

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