I Never Knew about Russia

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October 22nd 2019
Published: October 20th 2019
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Leave it to "Travel Trivia" to come up with facts we do not know about Russia. Having crossed the entire country, from Vladivostok to Moscow, and on to St. Petersburg, I can tell you this is a big place.

Perhaps most noticeable, particularly in the big cities, women outnumber men by a large percentage, only 87 men for every 100 women. Why? World War 2 was particularly devastating to Russia. But the real reason could be Russia's love affair with vodka! One in four men will die before their 55th birthday. This is among the highest mortality in the world. I can attest to this, as the big cities are teeming with women walking around in groups, old and young. Where are the guys?

Most of the population lives in urban areas. With over six million square miles, the majority of land is uninhabited. About three-fourths of the population lives in urban areas, mostly west of the Urals. Novosibirsk, the third largest city, has 1.1 million residents, while Moscow has over 10 million. My question is why would anyone live out in the middle of Siberia? Obviously, not many would!

The Moscow subway system is impressive, both artistically, and functionally. The subway carries about 2.4 billion people each year. London Underground carries 1.3 billion by comparison. And it is the most beautiful system I have ever seen or ridden. Many stations are designated national cultural heritage landmarks. I have one pictured above. I agree! Their engineering is impressive! And the trains run quite efficiently, and ON TIME!!!!!

Also, hard to believe that Russia has twelve active volcanoes. They sit along the Pacific edge (Ring of Fire).

While I did not visit the coldest city in the world, Oymyakon, I did visit many cold places, even though it was May. The town is one of the most remote in the world. Temperatures can reach -88 degrees F, with the sun shining for only 4 hours each winter day.

Whether you blame Putin or Trump, Moscow has more billionaires than any city in the world. They have 84 billionaires with an average net worth of $4 billion. Only 26 live outside of Moscow. The city is so congested, wealthy residents rent ambulances to drive them to their destinations!

Can you believe Russia has a plan to link Europe to the U.S.? After all, we are only 2.5 miles away at our closest border. The Russians want to build a superhighway, connecting Europe, Asia, and the U.S. The highway would span 12,400 miles, and also have a high speed rail network!

While I do not need to go back, I enjoyed my trip across Russia on the Trans Siberian Railway. It was an experience of a lifetime. I strongly suggest you visit someday, maybe after Putin and Trump are gone.

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