It was eleven years ago that we traveled to Russia. The trip had to do with family matters--a wedding that we missed, meeting our son's fiancee and family. Our Russian travel contact told our local travel agent that "these people are going to unusual places." But we did the tourist thing as well. St. Basil's Cathedral above is the best known landmark of Red Square. The building below houses the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow.
The unusual places we were going to were in Siberia. No one we met in European Russia could fathom any reason to go to siberia. It is as distant to them as it is to us.
But without going to Siberia we would not have seen this shrine at the site of the death of Czar Nicholas and his family in Ekaterinberg.
We traveled by way of the Trans-Siberian-Railway, and at each station where the train stopped, there were locals on the platform selling things. Mostly food--pastries, perogies, fresh berries. In on city where there was a glass factory, you could buy a chandelier on the platform. Factory workers received part of their salaries in goods.
Betweenn cities, the railway passed through the Taiga forest, made up mostly of birch and pine. This bit of forest was in the Akademgorodok--University District--of Krasnoyarsk, the city where our son studied and met his wife.
Our daughter-in-law's father was on the University faculty, and the friends of our son that we stayed with managed the computer science department. Touring one building we saw this sputnik.