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How to Get Around in Russia

Though Russia has trains, planes, and roads like everyone else, it is the country’s vast network of waterways which offer the most attractive form of travel within the country. The Russians have certainly endorsed this view over the centuries, because water transport has always been an integral part of national life here.

The Volga is the most majestic and renowned of Russia’s rivers, but it is the extensive network of inland water transport which distinguishes the nation’s economic and social heritage. Traveling from Moscow to other parts of the country by steamship gives enchanting glimpses of wonderful cities that have sprung up on the banks. This part of Russia lives on with such dynamism that one could believe that the Soviet Union never existed!

The Russian entrepreneurial spirit is very much in evidence from the fierce competition between cruise companies and tour operators to win your custom. Service levels have improved enormously since the totalitarian days, and a journey through Russia, from the Northern fringes of St. Petersburg to the trans Asiatic climes of the Caspian Sea, is a soothing experience as much as a revelation of history.

Russia has the distinction of industrial development as early as in the 17th century, and towns that sprung up along the banks of rivers such as the Volga have not lost their medieval charm. Russians have great traditions of supporting the Arts and community development in general, and the splendid Churches and galleries are eloquent testimony to the indefatigable spirit of preceding generations.

Kostroma, Uglich, Yaroslavl, and Nizhni Novgorod are some of the intriguing places which dot the river transport landscape of Russia. Each is so full of its own rich past and ethereal structures that you hate the pace of your chosen tour-until you reach the next and most romantic port of call! How would it be to have the time and money to live for months amidst this great wealth of human creation! There are some cities such as Volvograd, which bear scars of the Stalinist era, but even here, the signs of history have important lessons to tell, and you can close your visit to the city rejoicing in its bondage from the terrible name of Stalingrad, and from the shackles of Hitler’s mania!

 



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