Russia- Big and Beautiful!
Much like myself :) Haha, I am totally kidding! We're off to the next country- Russia! I'm sorry I didn't get to a few posts I had planned for Costa Rica, but I wasn't feeling well for a couple days, and then the weather this weekend was just too beautiful to be inside at the computer!! This week they said it might rain so maybe I'll get it all done :)
Now, Russia...land of ....snow? vodka? borscht? Yes, all of those things but so much more! Russia is the largest country in the world, 6,592,800 sq. miles, and has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Those inhabitants were mostly nomadic tribes until about the 9th century. Around that time Eastern Slavs (think Vikings), including warriors, traders and settlers, founded an area they called Rus. This area, over the next 200 years, became one of the largest and wealthiest areas in Eurasia. The Mongols invaded, and over the course of the next few centuries, the rule of Russia changed from the Mongols to the Grand Duchys to the Tsars, the Imperial Dynasty and the Socialists to the Communists, and finally back to the people. Today, Russia is a democratic nation with a rapidly growing economy and a thriving tourism trade.
Here are a few interesting facts about Russia-
- Because it is such a large country, Russia has many different environments. Frozen tundra, grassy steppes, Forests, Mountains and warm beaches.
- Russia (then the Soviet Union) put the first human in space. On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth. They beat the U.S. by less than a month.
- Russia has a huge amount of coastline with parts of it in the Artic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Baltic Sea, the Bering Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and, actually, even a few others but I think you get my point.
- Because there is so much access to water, fishing is a big source of income and a major part of the diet in some areas.
- The combined lakes of Russia hold 20% of the world's liquid fresh water.
- Lake Baikal is the world's oldest, deepest and purest lake. It has species of fish that are found no where else in the world. It also has the only species of freshwater seal.
Russia is also the home to a large collection of Faberge Eggs that were collected by the Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II, so we will attempt to make our own jewelled egg.
Then there's the food! I found a couple of Russian restaurants and I know of a whole area of SF full of Russian bakeries and shops- FIELD TRIP!! We are going to learn a card game called P'yanitsa and, well, who knows what else!!