Monthly Archives: September 2013

Travel Guide: Visiting Russia 2014

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For most foreigners, Russia is often associated with two main cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg. This is the heartland of former Imperial Russia, and these great and ancient cities often become the focus for most tourists visiting Russia. Moscow, with its traditional ancient Russian churches and the beautiful Kremlin, and Saint Petersburg, which is the most European of all Russian cities, are the highlights of the great country. However there is much more to Russia, a country that spans eleven time zones and two continents, ending less than 50 miles from North America.

It covers the major part of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean. Within this vast expanse lies the largest freshwater lake in the world, the Baikal, rivers and forests, teeming with fish and wildlife, Europe’s tallest peak (Mount Elbrus), awe inspiring volcanoes, and towering mountains. Featuring broad plain terrain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions, Russia is the largest country on earth in terms of area, with enormous tracts of land that have been opened to travelers only in the last few years. Its climate ranges from humid continental in much of European Russia through steppes in the south; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north. Winters vary from cool along the Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along the Arctic coast.

Russia has a federative type of government. As of an administrative division, it consists of 49 oblasts, 21 republics, 10 autonomous okrugs, 6 krais, 2 federal cities, and 1 autonomous oblast. After the implosion of the Soviet Union in December 1991, post-Soviet Russia is still struggling to establish a modern market economy, modernize its industrial base, and maintain strong economic growth. The period 1992-1998 was marked by a poor business climate, deterioration in already shabby living standards, and failure to institute modern market reforms. Conditions improved markedly in 1999-2002, with annual output growing by an average 6% and with progress in structural reforms. Russia has a wide natural resource base, including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, many strategic minerals and timber.

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Trinity Shop

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Ginger Castle Red Square

Called everything from beautiful to unusual and downright strange-looking.

Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral remains the city’s most celebrated landmark and nothing short of Russia’s national symbol

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Visit Russia

Voyage Trek 

The Russian equivalent of Santa Claus, Grandfather Frost, is based on a man, named Nikolay, who lived in the Mediterranean in III century, CE. He cared for and helped everyone around him, especially children. After his death, he was canonized by the Church.

In time, he became known in many countries all over the world and in Russia, he became called Saint Nikolay, the Miracle-Worker.

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Throwing off the traditions of communist uniformity, Russia today becomes a nation of diversity and tremendous vitality. Cultural traditions of a great country have re-awakened with a newfound strength. Ancient architectural monuments and cathedrals neglected and ruined in Soviet times are being rebuilt and restored. Colorful markets hum with activity once again, and literature and the arts are quickly regaining their creative power.

NYTimes Travel

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A new Russia is in full bloom now. And international visitors are attracted more and more by this great country with honest and hospitable people, magnificent culture, ethnical and nature diversity, unbounded open lands, beautiful forests, mountains, lakes, beating pulses of bright and lively cities and calm rhythms of quite and measure living in remote country towns and villages.

The whole new world is waiting for you to be discovered!

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Team USA Winter Games 2014

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The Athletes 

The Athletes (Paralympic)

Road To Sochi 

Team USA Sponsors 

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Olympic 2014 Flame Lighting For Winter Games in Russia

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World Sports News 

The Olympic flame was lit today in Olympia, Greece, a significant milestone ahead of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

NBC Sports Article and Video

During an elaborate ceremony at the Temple of Hera, Greek actress Ino Menegaki, dressed as a high priestess in a flowing white robe, kindled the flame using sun rays reflected off a parabolic mirror. The first torch was then carried by Greek alpine skier Ioannis Antoniou, an 18-year-old who is attempting to qualify for Sochi.

Antoniou handed the torch off to Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin, who became the first Russian torchbearer. Ovechkin, a veteran of two Olympics and a three-time NHL MVP, skipped the Capitals’ final preseason game Saturday night in order to be in Greece. He will rejoin his team in time for the season opener Tuesday night in Chicago.

Lightning Ceremony of the Olympic Flame for 2014 Winter Olympics

The torch will be carried through Greece until October 6, when it is flown to Moscow to begin its 123-day odyssey to Sochi.

The Torch Relay is to be the longest in Games history, covering more than 40,000 miles and including 14,000 torchbearers. It will span 83 different regions in Russia, but two highlights will come when it leaves the country: in October, the torch will voyage to the North Pole on a nuclear-powered icebreaker called “50 Years of Victory,” and in November, it will be escorted to the International Space Station by two Russian cosmonauts.

“Just as in ancient Greece, the Olympic Games cannot settle political problems or secure lasting peace between peoples,” said Thomas Bach, the newly elected International Olympic Committee President. ”The Olympic flame thus reminds us to be aware of our own Olympic limits.”

The Opening Ceremony is February 7.

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Greece Lights The World 

Ever since, the unique event of the Flame Lighting Ceremony has acted as herald for the Olympic Games worldwide. The Sacred Flame travels the country where the games are to be held and burns for as long as the Olympic Games last, as a strong reminder of the land that gave birth to them.

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The ritual of the Lighting, in simplicity and mystagogy, starts with the procession of the priestesses from the Altar of Hera, in front of the goddess’s temple. Dressed in archaic-style clothing, priestesses surround the Altar while the High-priestess, invoking god Apollo, lights the torch, using a concave mirror. According to the Myth of Promytheus, the fire is the symbol of life, rationalism and freedom as well as inventiveness and so had been the ageless flame that used to burn on the Altar of Prytaneion in Ancient Olympia.

Lightning Ceremony of the Olympic Flame for 2014 Winter Olympics

Then, the High Priestess relays the flame in a small ceramic pot and heads to the Stadium with all priestesses in procession. They pass by the Olive Tree, where they stand for a moment and “Amphithalis Pais”, the young boy (whose both parents are alive) cuts off an olive branch, as a symbol of peace and a meaningful winner’s prize. When the procession arrives at the Stadium, the High Priestess lights the torch of the first runner and the torch relay begins. The Olympic flame travels to many places and becomes the connecting bond among people, sending the message of hope.

Lightning Ceremony of the Olympic Flame for 2014 Winter Olympics

Let’s listen to the thoughts and feelings of the High Priestess in anticipation of the unique event of the Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony, which is to be held on May 10, and will draw the humanity’s attention to Olympia.

just a while before the sun sends its rays to light the flame of the Olympic Games, thousands of images and feelings come before my eyes and my soul abounds in them…

Lightning Ceremony of the Olympic Flame for 2014 Winter Olympics

A great culture, which once gave birth to ideas, values, important advocates of those ideas and events, enriches the course of history and humanity. The light of Olympia signals the creative force in the hearts of people which generates culture. The flame; a force of nature, a symbol of life and a source of inspiration…

how many feelings, how many unique moments in the cycle of priestesses who convey images from the past, symbolisms, the concept of art…

Lightning Ceremony of the Olympic Flame for 2014 Winter Olympics

Sacred Silence
Let the sky, the earth, the sea and the winds sound.
Mountains fall silent
Sounds and birds’ warbles cease
For Phoebus, the light bearer King shall keep us company…

waiting for the moment that these words will sound in the sacred land of Olympia, carrying the essence of the team’s soul in my voice and the power of its heart in my hand… just before the invocation to Apollo who will send the rays of the sun and to Zeus who will bestow peace to all peoples on earth and will wreath-crown the winners of the sacred race.

The Olympic Flame is alight for the very first time by the Greek sun at the sacred and historic site of Ancient Olympia.

Ino Menegaki

The Greek Light Travels The World. Visit Greece 

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Goddess Artemis

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