The other side of Russia
Siberia doesn't immediately spring to mind as a travel destination, especially with Moscow and St. Petersburg topping the lists of 'must-see European cities.' But the land associated with gulags and hardship has much to offer the intrepid traveler -- beautiful taiga and tundra, the deepest lake in the world, and towns that are an intriguing mix of the cultures that have conquered the region over time. And this is the perfect place to slow down; destinations are hours, if not days, away from each other, and hospitable locals will make you wish you had all the time in the world for hanging out and drinking vodka. You won't find manmade masterpieces like St. Basil's or the Hermitage in Siberia, but you will be awed anyway by the vastness of the land and how nature is really something to be feared or celebrated. Moscow and St. Petersburg may be Mother Russia at her most glamorous, but Siberia is where she is truly glorious.