Last Stop: Saint Petersburg (Part 1)

RUSSIA encompasses one sixth of the world. With an area of 17 million square kilometers it is currently the world's largest country. Russia measures 8,000 kilometers from east to west. A country that sits on two continents; Asia and Europe, Russia extends from the Baltic to the Pacific and the Arctic to the Caucasus Mountains.

One of the least visited areas of Russia is the  "Far East" region. Getting to the "Far East" of Russia is a journey in itself. The vastness of the region makes it difficult to travel by bus or car between cities and towns. There's a mixture of about 70 cities/towns in the Far East region of Russia. The most populated is Vladivostok. This city has the largest Russian port on the Pacific Ocean and isn't far from the borders of China and North Korea. 

Far East Russia is remote and cold. The climate is subarctic and it's not uncommon to have six months of sub-zero temperatures. The acres of untouched wilderness makes this region of Russia exceptional for cross country skiing, dog sledding, fishing, and hiking. It's truly an outdoor's paradise but speaking fluent Russian is highly recommended in this part of Russia.

Far East Highlights:

Amur Cliff, Khabarovsk
Railroad Terminal, Vladivostok
Valley of Geysers, Kamchatka Krai
Golden Horn Bay, Vladivostok
Mask of Sorrow, Magadan
Kamchatka Peninsula, Kamchtaka-Krai
Eagle's Nest Mount, Vladivostok
Gornij Vozduh, Yuzho-Sakhalinski

You'll want to keep warm while exploring the Far East region and there's nothing more satisfying than a bowl or two of famous Russian Borscht.

R U S S I A N   B O R S C H T

2 cups beets, peeled & chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 cups cabbage, shredded
2 large potatoes, diced
4 cups beef broth
4 cups water
2 cups tomato puree
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
salt & freshly ground pepper
sour cream, for garnish

Combine all ingredients except the salt, ground pepper, & sour cream in a large soup pot.
Bring to a boil and simmer about 1 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaf, add salt & pepper to taste.
Serve with a spoonful of sour cream.

Up Next: Exploring the majestic Caucasus Mountains and the fabulous city of Saint Petersburg!


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