Russia is the world’s largest country by landmass, and is part of the East Asia-Pacific region, Central Asia, the Caucasus and Europe.
And yet, despite its huge size, we have somehow managed to miss it – taking the trans siberian railway is one of those journeys every traveler dreams of taking, one of those journeys we associate with exotic adventure.
But sitting on a train for an entire week without getting off seems a bit too much, and what’s the point of traveling through the entire Russia without actually stepping off the train to embrace it?
We have been thinking of taking this journey next year, and here are 5 of the places we would like to visit along the way…
Few places are as iconic than St. Basil’s Cathedral with its colorful onion domes that makes it look more fairy-tale like than the Walt Disney Castle itself -and the red square with the GUM department store and the Kremlin’s red brick walls and 18 towers.
First mentioned in 1024, Suzdal is one of the oldest cities in Russia, and being protected from development, the medieval architecture, rural atmosphere and fairytale setting is still well preserved, with more churches per capita than any other city in Russia.
Suzdal is part of the “Golden Ring”, a ring of cities northeast of Moscow which preserves the memory of the most important and significant events in Russian history.
These towns are like open-air museums, and among the most picturesque in Russia – we would love to get a glimpse of what seems to be the idyllic picture of Russian village life.
Formed almost 50 million years ago, Lake Baikal is the oldest and deepest lake on the planet, containing 20% of the earth’s fresh surface water.
Except around Baikalsk and Selenga Delta, the water is completely safe to drink due to the filtering action of the different types of sponge that live in its depths – the deep blue lake surrounded by sharp mountains looks absolutely stunning, and we would love to explore the area.
While visiting this village might only be possible when buying russian train tickets, we would love to get a better insight into the lives and culture of the Buryats – the Buryats are the largest of the Siberian minority groups, where Shamanism and Buddhists traditions come together.
While we don’t normally listen to others complaining about places, when we get a lot of recommendations about how awesome a place is we definitely believe that there must be some truth in what they say.
We’ve heard from many people about how great Irkutsk is, from how cute the town is with traditional Siberian wooden cabins to how friendly the locals there are and how relaxed the vibe is in the city.
Can’t wait to see it for ourselves!
Have you traveled on the Trans Siberian Railway? If so, what places would you recommend, and if not, what places do you dream of visiting?