For long ages, Russia has been shown as this harsh country where only the Russians can survive. Even in today’s pop culture, Russia is seen as a cold space, where people are poor and there is little hope. However, the Russia of yesterday cannot measure up to the Russia of today. With the huge baggage of Imperial history behind her, Russia has found herself as one of the best tourist destinations in the world.
This is particularly because, Russia extends beyond the imagination of people, which is often limited to simply Moscow or St. Petersburg. For a country that covers nine-time zones this is to be expected. However, it is Southern Russia which is the well-guarded secret.
For many years, because we only saw Russia tours which extended into the North, we never really saw the South. It has grown on its own, and developed a warm culture, quite separate from the stories we’ve read.
Backpacking across Russia, going into the nooks and crevices and finding your own self, is often seen as life-changing, and rightly so. So, here’s a look at the way Southern Russia changes you.
It is not often that a place hosting the Winter Olympics becomes the focus of such interests. However, Sochi has it all. With a beautiful climate that extends itself onto snow-capped mountains to the large Black Sea coast where you can lose yourself in a swim, Sochi has it all.
It will break your barriers about what you know about the country and introduce you to a different, warmer Russia. There are dances to be seen, and teenagers indulging in the waves and in the snow. Sochi, in short will give you a place you can dream of, far away from the suffocation of modern life.
If there is one thing Russians know the best, it is patience a a virtue. The way they’ve grown around the entirety of history and still managed to flower is admirable. However, unless, you get yourself onto a Trans-Siberian tour, and see all the rail routes that you will understand the enormity that is their lives.
There is something poetic is seeing vast fields of snow from a train. There is something lovely to be found in every nook and corner as you find yourself exploring the train and understanding that sometimes the journey matters more.
As the clock turns, we as humans tend to forget our pasts. Imperial spaces that still hold the Russian regalia is a reminder of that rich past that is on all of us. The sprawling palaces in St. Petersburg, which housed the Elite, the wonderful spaces to find in Moscow, all are a reminder of how when the clock turns, nothing is spared.
See the lives of the Aristrocrats you have only read about, and see how that has changed. Compare it to the jovial Russia of today and you will see that even misery knows an end.
When was the last time you loved food? Russians have no option but, to love food because they grew up in a suffocating space which threatened to take away whatever little they had. So, when they indulge in soups, they indulge in nutrition and love.
Go to Anapa and take the wine tour and taste the summer-y wine that still thrives in Russia, go to Kuban and indulge in the local food, and you will know why Russian mothers are so loved, and why their food is universally acknowledged.
One of my brightest memories of Russia was when I used o buy bread from a local shop in Moscow. A woman, obviously unfamiliar with English, always would go and welcome me. Tours of Russia show you these side of people that we do not really know.
Whether you are in Moscow or one of the rural towns, Russia is incredibly warm when it comes to people. The mothers care for you, and the people always extend a helping hand.
Russia has its own fairytales, but, it keeps it guarded, you need to explore to understand and cherish them.
So why wait? A tour of Russia, where you can go through the Trans-Siberian Railways, and dive in Sochi is something that should be on your bucket list. Go ahead and indulge in the history and culture of a place that has been forgotten by almost everyone except time.
I personally recommend, the two capitals and their history interspersed with the lesser known spaces where you can breathe deeply and separately. There is romance to be found in Russia, you must know how to look for it.