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This land of snow and lethal cold with a midnight sun in summer and a long dark winter has a vast landscape that changes from great expanses of flat countryside where only the low Urals break the horizon, to forests of pine and spruce sheltering reindeer, wolves, and brown bears, lovely green meadows with rivers running through. Glorious old cities with magnificent heart-stopping architecture that contrasts dramatically with the drabness of the Soviet heritage are all part of the enigma that is Russia today. Russia’s people have witnessed tragedy and change, but remain delightfully amiable, generous, and hospitable, and are great party animals.


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