- Night Moscow
Moscow at night, all lit-up and fancy, is quite a marvel. All the oil and gas mega-billions pumped out of the whole country of Russia transit its capital city on the way to Western banks, not without leaving a mark of vapid self-congratulatory consumerism and sheer opulence of new construction and restoration projects.
An old industrial city amidst Russia's fertile Black-Soil Belt, it is situated on the very edge of the original agricultural area bordering the nomadic steppes, and until the 16th century was a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
What is better for a jaded city dweller than a getaway to the quiet pleasures of the countryside: forest walks, sunset-watching, mushroom-picking, gardening, barbecuing and all imaginable types of gluttony.
- Korennaya Pustyn'
The Hermitage of Theotokos of Kursk, Found Among the Roots is the somewhat cumbersome literal translation of the name of this great Russian monastery. A big part of its fame it owes to one of Russia' most famous saints: Seraphim of Sarov as well as the fact that it used to host one of the largest fairs in Imperial Russia.
Right nearby the monastery is the fortified bunker from whence Marshal Zhukov commanded over the largest tank battle in history: over 2 million infantry, 6,300 tanks and 4,400 aircraft involved on both sides.