In the middle of the night, after editing photos from Suzdal, I was plagued by the question - "why should an American tourist visit Russia?" What is unique or especially attractive about the country that justifies sitting on a plane for 10 - 13 hours to reach the other side of the world to see it? What does Russia have that we can't see in the USA? I've already stated why I like the country numerous times in this blog, but most ordinary vacationers aren't interested in psychological studies of a culture or its people. They work hard all year, and simply want to escape to a relaxing place with their spouse and children. In most Russian cities, the tourist attractions are the same - church, church, and more onion domed churches, coupled with an old Kremlin. Unless you're extremely religious, or a fan of architecture, these scenes grow boring and monotonous after a few days. The same can be said for the winter landscapes - snow, ice, and horrible walking conditions almost everywhere. Such scenes aren't appealing to the vast majority of humanity.
To me, the most unique thing in Russia is the amazing Lake Baikal (especially when it's frozen!), but even this location is difficult and expensive to reach. So, tell me, why should an American visit your country? What do you think is Russia's most appealing tourist sight for foreigners? I want to send your answers to some of my friends. Perhaps you can convince one of them to accompany me on my next journey to the country, because so far I've failed miserably in this mission.