Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Travel the World - Week 32

This is the 32nd week in my Travel the World personal challenge. Each week I am randomly choosing one country (there are 195 countries in the world) and doing a little research on that country. I then select one tidbit of information about the country as inspiration for the card I make.

This week's country is...


Russia is the largest country in the world – and is approximately 1.8 times the size of the US.

Russia lies in both Europe and Asia: one quarter of its territory is in Europe and three quarters in Asia. Notably, only 22% of the population resides in the Asian section.

Russia shares a border with 14 countries including Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, China, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and North Korea. No other country in the world has as many borders.

At their closest point, Russia and the US are a mere 4km (2.5mi) apart. Big Diomede Island is a part of Russia while Little Diomede Island is a part of the American state of Alaska.

The land border of Russia is over 12,000 miles long, the second longest of any country.

There are nine time zones across Russia. Russia is permanently on daylight savings time.

The lowest point in Russia is the Caspian Sea – at 92 feet below sea level. The highest point is Mt. Elbrus at 3 ½ miles above sea level. It’s the highest mountain in Europe. A chairlift takes you to the 3000 meter mark (a little less than two miles) so the climbing really starts there.

Russian is one of the five most spoken languages in the world. 

Lake Baikal contains about 20% of the world’s fresh water and is the deepest lake in the world. About 1,700 species of plants and animals live in the lake, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world.

Russia has 12 active volcanoes. The Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano in Kamchatka Territory has had 50 major eruptions in the last 270 years.

Russia has a very high literacy rate – with 99.7% of the population able to read and write by age 15.

Russians are taught not to smile in school.

Moscow's underground is perhaps the world's most beautiful.

Russians drink six times more tea per year than Americans.
Don't expect to get very far into a restaurant/bar/museum/gallery in Russia without being asked to put your coat and/or bag in a cloakroom. The best are efficiently run by a team of baboushkas.

There's a chain of Russian cafes where everything is free and you pay depending on how long you stay there.

There is a restaurant in Moscow staffed entirely by twins. The Twin Stars diner employs identically-dressed siblings.

The Trans- Siberian Railroad connects Moscow to the Russia Far East. It’s the longest railway line in the world.

Eighteen hundred skiers and snowboarders once hit the slopes of Sheregesh wearing bikinis in a bid to break a Guinness World Record.

Russia has over 40 national parks and 100 wildlife reserves.

Russia is home to the oldest plant ever to be regenerated. It has been grown from 32,000-year-old seeds!

St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow was created by Postnik Yakovlev. Legend has it that Ivan the Terrible blinded him afterwards, so he couldn’t build anything to rival it.

The world’s first satellite, named Sputnik, was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957.

In 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first cosmonaut in space. He made a 108-minute orbital flight in his Vostok 1 spacecraft.

Russia has one of the world's most terrifying walkways: the 439-metre SkyBridge.

Russia’s Volga River is the longest in Europe, with a length of around 2293 miles.

Russian person drinks on average around 18 liters of alcohol per year. That’s more than double the amount that doctors deem as safe drinking. 
Beer was not considered an alcoholic beverage in Russia until 2013.

Folk Dancing is a big tradition in Russia.

Chicken's foot soup is a traditional delicacy in Russia.

With a little more than 12 million people living in the Russian capital, almost 3/4 of the city’s population use the metro daily. That’s about 9 million passengers a day.

The Russian town of Oymyakon is considered to be the coldest inhabited place on our entire planet. The coldest temperature measured was -77.8°C (-108°F) back in 1938. 
There are more Russian women than men, and estimates says that there are about 11 million women in the country. This is partly because many soldiers who were men died in battle during World War II. In 1950, there were just 76.6 men per 100 women. Another reason for the gap is because of lower life expectancy for males. Russian women live more than 10 years longer on average than their male counterpart.
A Russian woman holds the world record of giving birth, to 69 children.
Moscow is home to more billionaires than almost any other city. It has 73 billionaires and ranks behind only New York (82) and Hong Kong (75).

Traffic in Moscow is so bad that wealthy Russians hire fake ambulances to beat the jams.

In St Petersburg, next to the bridge to reach the Peter and Paul Fortress, is a statue of a hare which commemorates the large number of hares that used to live on the island, and the battle against the floods that plagued the city during the 18th and 19th centuries. It's considered good luck to hit it with a coin.

Russians have a lot of superstitions. From rubbing a dog’s paw (but only with your left hand!) for money to making a wish if you could successfully toss a coin into Peter the Great’s boot. Another superstition affected how Russians selected where to build their homes in ancient times. It was a superstition that the first to enter a new house would die, so naturally they’d send a cat in first. They have nine lives after all! If the cat refused to enter, they’d tear down the structure and re-build somewhere else.

Subbotnik is the day when residents of Russian cities volunteer to sweep up and tidy the streets. It started after the revolution but still happens today.

The icicles hanging from the gutters in Moscow in winter are so enormous that the pavements below are cordoned off - as they'd kill you if they fell on your head.

A Russian Holiday, known as Day of Conception or Procreation Day. It takes place each year the 12th of September and was made popular by the region Ulyanovsk (the birthplace of Lenin). The day is meant for Russian workers to take a day off in order to make babies, and it’s working quite well because every June, the birthrate is higher than in other months. 
I decided to let this Russia fact be the inspiration for this week's card... Giving flowers to residents can be a delicate point of etiquette. You should always make sure you give them in odd numbers, unless going to a funeral, when even numbers are the rule.

There was an even number of flowers on this image so naturally it needed to be a Sympathy card, in keeping with the bit of Russian information.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Sets: Gina K You Make Me Smile and Your Next Stamp Whatnot Sentiments stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers and a Zig Wink of Stella Marker

Papers: Recollections Black and 110# White and SU Wild Wasabi CS 

Dies: Gina Marie Wonky Stitched Rectangles and Nestabilities Ovals

Embellishment: Recollections Rhinestones and Ribbon from an unknown vendor


MiamiKel said...

Love your floral card! The large sympathy sentiment is a beautiful focal point! I would LOVE to visit Russia one day - doubt I will so it's nice to visit via your blog post!

kiwimeskreations said...

What an amazing collection of information Jeanette - some of it quite bizarre to our way of thinking... Loving you card, and so appropriate to have an even number of blooms .... do you have a Russian friend to send it too? :)

Lynn McAuley said...

I love this gorgeous card of sympathy which would be well-received in Russia with its four beautiful blooms!!