Here I am, a mere train trip away from Russia, summer holidays approaching - and no one to go exploring with. Woe is me. So what follows is an advertisement for the post of travel companion to Russia. (Pictures from this excellent website.)
Item #1: Mother Motherland. Built at the end of the 1950s, she's twice as high as the Statue of Liberty. Tell me you wouldn't give your back teeth to see her! (And I'm not ashamed to use hyperbole in this instance.)
Item #2: St Petersburg: specifically, St Basil's Cathedral. I've wanted to see these magic domes for longer than I can remember.
Item #3: The Poles of the Komi Republic.
Item #4: G.K. Chesterton's wise words. "The object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own country."
Item #5: The Silk Road Train.
Item #6: the land of the Bolshoi ballet, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, Chekhov, and Pushkin's Onegin. (Okay, Ralph Fiennes isn't Russian, but wouldn't it be nice to meet a Russian who looked like him?)
Applications for this post can be made through the usual channels.