Russia is one of the most fascinating and terrifying countries on the planet in equal measure, and there aren't all too many destinations that you can make that claim about.
Russian residents themselves may not necessarily agree with that hypothesis (which we consider to be an understandable point of view), but either way, we thought it'd be interesting to note down the things that don't make us feel particularly comfortable - as well as the things that we enjoy.
No one place is perfect and we can understand that, but these guys are on a whole other level when it comes to re-defining the term 'unique'.
10 LOVE - Sporting Passion
It doesn’t matter whether it’s hockey, soccer or some other sport, because the Russians really know how to get behind their athletes. While they may have had their fair share of controversies, which we understand completely, that isn’t what we’re planning on focusing on here.
We want to discuss the quality of the fans themselves because that kind of support can be the difference between success and failure. That may sound a little bit extreme, but we’re pretty confident in saying that logic holds up – in one way or another.
9 SCARE - Discrimination
We aren’t going to talk too much about this subject because it’s just going to make us sad, but we all know what the issue is here and people need to stop being so afraid of saying it.
Discrimination of any kind in the modern age is just painful to see, hear and watch, to the point where it actively disgusts us.
Russia is living in the past when it comes to these problems, and if something isn’t done to rectify it sooner, then their tourism numbers are going to drop dramatically – and rightly so.
8 LOVE - Beautiful Architecture
No matter where you go in this behemoth of a country, you’re going to see the kind of architecture that will blow you away. The attention to detail that has been put into these structures really is mind-boggling, from ancient buildings to fresh & new designs.
The big cities are the best for this kind of stuff, and to reference sports once more, one of the big takeaways that many tourists had following the 2018 FIFA World Cup was that they had no idea just how stunning Russia was in this particular regard.
7 SCARE - Not So Friendly Locals
We don’t like to completely stereotype an entire group of people so we apologize in advance for this, but let’s face it: the majority of locals over in Russia don’t really take too kindly to all of the tourists coming over, and the ones that do are still pretty short with you.
While it may not have anything to do with where you’ve come free, you definitely don’t feel like you’re all that welcome. For events like the aforementioned World Cup they’ll make it seem like a beautiful haven when in reality, that’s just not how it works.
6 LOVE - St. Petersburg
We’re going to be a little bit more specific by naming a location: and that location is St. Petersburg or Saint Petersburg. For a city that was once surrounded by so much tragedy, they’ve done a majestic job of rebuilding it and making it into one of the shining lights of Russian culture.
Everything about it is so overwhelmingly beautiful, especially if you visit in the summertime. Yes, we know you don’t tend to think of Russia being a particularly hot place, but this city lights up when the sun is out.
5 SCARE - Overwhelming Size
It’s the biggest country in the world and it isn’t even remotely close. When you take one look at a map of Earth, Russia stands out as the commanding force and there’s just no way whatsoever of getting around that.
It’s kind of intimidating, and it’s also difficult to wrap your head around it. While the structure of certain islands and countries has been explained to us all time and time again, it just seems inconceivable to think that a country as large as the United States of America can be dwarfed so dramatically by another like this.
4 LOVE - Patriotism
Sometimes this is misplaced and we completely understand that, but there is no way of getting around the fact that the Russian people are incredibly patriotic. They wave their flags high and they bellow out the national anthem like they mean it, because they believe in their country through thick and thin.
This probably isn’t true throughout the entire core of the nation and we aren’t going to pretend like it is, but at the same time, it’s hard not to appreciate (or at the very least respect) their dedication and commitment to their culture.
3 SCARE - Deserted Areas
This may not come as much of a surprise to you give how gigantic Russia is, but as it turns out, there are a lot of places that are uninhabited over there.
If you want to frighten yourself half to death, go on Google Maps and place the little yellow man somewhere in the far east of Russia. Upon doing so, you’ll quickly learn that there are a lot of places around the country where you wouldn’t come across another human being for miles and miles.
Some people might be into that kind of thing, but it’s not for us.
2 LOVE - Vodka Variety
They love their vodka over there, and that’s really all there is to this entry.
It sounds incredibly stereotypical to say it, but once you’ve seen it for yourself, you’ll soon realize that it isn’t a myth by any stretch of the imagination. They dive headfirst into the stuff, to the point where a lot of seasoned veterans drink it like it is water.
It’s not like this stuff is watered down at all, either, because nine times out of ten they just go for it.
They certainly put the Brits to shame.
1 SCARE - Their Power
It should kind of go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: the power on display in the country of Russia on a worldwide scale is a little bit terrifying. We all know what they’re capable of and we all know how many advancements they are making in a series of different fields.
When you’ve got so much land to work with it can mean a lot of things for you, both on a national and an international kind of scale.
That’s just the way things are, and yeah, it’s scary.