triking in its diversity, stunningly kaleidoscopic and draped in mystery; the largest country in the world takes some getting used to, but offers delights galore for those who make the effort to worship at the altar of Mother Russia.
We at Adventures Overland have been in awe of this lovely country; so much so that today we launch our 4th self-driven winter road trip through the ‘Land of Rus’.
Brimming with world-class specimens of art, architecture and literary gems, postcard-pretty train routes and a lively nightlife – Russia is not only blessed with incredible geographical beauty but also brings together an immense variety of cultural riches for the true connoisseur.
People & Geography
With a colossal 17,125,200 sq. km in area, Russia covers over 1/8th of the Earth’s total inhabited land area. Approximately 146.79 million people live in the country’s 85 federal subjects as of 2019, making it the ninth most populous nation in the world.
Imbibed with very vivid and ornate cultural ancestry and traditions, people of Russia hold their homeland and family structure as being extremely important.
Experts cite this as being a direct result of the Soviet Rule, which instilled in Russians fear and doubt with regard to outsiders and foreign influences. And hence the idea of a close-knit family and country became ever more critical to survival and protection of their way of life.
When it comes to geographical terrain, the variety of landscapes here is simply mind-boggling owing to its massive size. Much more than just a spectacle of endless snowy white as its popularly assumed to be by the foreign traveller, Russian landscape is a delightful mix of taigas, steppes, dense forests, expansive lakes, a shimmering coastline, awesome mountains and even an active volcano.
This topographical diversity also makes Russia an adventure lover’s dream destination; where one will be spoilt for choice when it comes to adrenaline-inducing activities.
And if the beautifully untethered countryside is not your jam, buzzing Russian cities like Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, Sochi, Vologda and Samara (amidst so many others!) are there to offer generous doses of gorgeous art forms like the ballet, mesmerizing architecture, heritage and literary pleasures along with unparalleled night time entertainment.
Food & Drink
Like all things related to Russia, its cuisine too celebrates the coming together of varied environmental, social, geographical, economic and historical influences. Unique and distinctive, Russian recipes are known for the sheer abundance of variety of ingredients that go into creating them.
With the dominant religion being Orthodox Christianity, Russian cuisine is divided into two clear categories – fasting and non-fasting.
Some of the most prominent dishes that are a staple across most of the country include Borscht (beet soup full of vegetables and meat, usually served with sour cream), Pirozhkis (small baked buns filled with potatoes, meat, cabbage or cheese), Caviar (traditionally made from the eggs of sturgeon found in the Black Sea or Caspian Sea), Blini (a version of pancakes or crepes also served with a variety of fillings), Chicken Kiev and Pelmeni (meat or fish dumplings).
Amidst many other traditional and festive recipes are also a variety of cold soups and stews, along with a delectable assortment of savoury and sweet baked items.
When it comes to drink, Russian Vodka has little to no competition although beer, tea and characteristically Russian beverages like Sbiten (a traditional Russian hot beverage), Kvass (a.k.a Russian Coca-Cola, slightly fermented rye bread drink) and Mors (sweetened berry juice mixed with water) are also popular choices.
With all this and so much more to explore, comprehend and experience, visiting Russia is unlike visiting any other smaller destination. Its absolute vastness and cultural range make it imperative that one looks at Russia as a collection of different zones; each of which comes with its own individual exquisiteness.
So, if you want to discover Russia in signature Adventures Overland style come join us on our next Winter Drive in Russia slated for February 2021 or let us tailor-made a road trip that takes care of all your specific needs. We promise you will have the time of your life, while revelling in ultimate luxury and convenience.