Today I want to present you the Artika train (Artic train), that takes you from Moscow to Murmansk, above the Artic Circle, and/or back. Murmansk is by far the largest city north of the Arctic Circle (with a population of around 300.000 people) and is a major port on the Arctic Ocean. It is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, an inlet of the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, close to Russia's borders with Norway.
Sixty operates both as a restaurant and as a cafè. That is one of the greatest features of the place and a truly fantastic opportunity not to miss if you want to enjoy one of Moscow's most spectacular views on a budget! You can actually go to this establishment pretty much at any time during opening hours and, provided it is not already full, you can then just enjoy a cup of coffee (or tea, if you are feeling very Russian or very British) and no one will even raise an eyebrow because you are not raking up a substancial bill.
The former “Havana” Movie Theatre, now transformed in the Planeta VKN Youth Center. The three big letters you see on the front of the building are actually not "KBH" as one instinctively reads them in English (or Latin alphabet), but they are the Cyrillic letters KVN. They stand for Klub Vesyólykh i Nakhódchivykh or Ka-Ve-En, which translates into “Club of the Funny and Inventive”.
his is just an example of one of the endless Russian gems that foreign tourist almost never get to experience. The main reason why is that this natural spa is a 2 hour drive from Ufa and a good 20 hour drive from Moscow, but if you are persistent enough to get to Krasnousolsk and then still a bit further up the road to the spa resort, you will be rewarded with a pristine nature and wonderful thermal waters.
The Cathedral of Saint Demetrius is a religious building in the ancient Russian city of Vladimir. The cathedral itself is over 800 years old: it was finished in 1191 during the reign of the Grand Prince Vsevolod the Big Nest of Vladimir-Suzdal to the honour of Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki. Being an important component of the White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal, the cathedral belongs to the World Heritage of UNESCO.
The Vostok rocket, still proudly sporting the USSR (CCCP in Cyrillic) acronym in bright red letters on the side. To understand the historic importance of this rocket suffice to say that the first human spaceflight in history was accomplished on this spacecraft on April 12, 1961, by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
Museum of Soviet Lifestyle in Kazan. In the winter of 2011 the citizens of Kazan had an opportunity to travel some 30-40 years back in time. An exposition called "Jeans as a cult (60s - 80s)" gave a pretty unique prospective on the last two decades of the USSR, when a simple fabric (Jeans) could express all the desire for change of a nation, during the immobilism and stagnation of the late Brezniev years to the tumultuous end of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev.
Murmansk, Russia (above the Arctic Circle). There is a lot to see, but for a technology and history geek like me, one attraction is clearly the most special of all. I am talking about the 1957 icebreaker Lenin. Now a museum, it was both the world's first nuclear-powered surface ship and the first nuclear-powered civilian vessel, when it entered operation in 1959. Visiting the Lenin is a truly unique occasion to see what a state-of-the-art operational Soviet nuclear icebreaker looked like in 1989.