Things to do when in Russia

Russian Matryoshka Dolls

Russia may not be the first place you think of when first receiving your renewed passport, maybe not even in the top 10, but there are many things to see and do during a vacation in Russia. In recent years Russia has grown in popularity among tourists, in part because of the vast amount of things there is to see and the rich history of the country. From their world renowned ballet troupes to the Kremlin, there really is something for everyone in Russia.

St Basil Cathedral

Moscow is a must visit location that should be included in any trip to Russia. This is where one of Russia’s most popular attractions, St. Basil’s Cathedral, is located. Situated just outside Red Square, St Basil’s was built in the 16th century and is a collection of nine separate chapels, each of which have their own unique dome of vibrant colors and different shapes. Red Square is one of Moscow’s most visited places. It has been the site of wide variety of events, from religious festivals to public executions and is the home of Lenin’s mausoleum. After taking all of this great history if you need a break why not head over to the GUM Department store, located just outside Red Square, which is the largest department store in Russia.


Any trip to Moscow would not be complete without a visit to the Kremlin. A architectural wonder, the Kremlin is a symbol of Russian power and is a place where you really can see it all in one from ballet to art. The Kremlin was finished in 1495, however it has been renovated many times since then allowing for a very unique design. Moscow is also home to some of the best opera and ballet troupes in the world and there is no better place to take in a performance than the Bolshoi Theater, which is the oldest theater in Moscow. Although it was rebuilt after a fire and hurricane, close to one billon dollars were spent on the renovation making the Bolshoi Theater as good if not better than it was before it was destroyed.

Bolshoi Theater

The third largest city in Russia is Nizhny Novgorod and, although it is smaller, it has many points of interest of its own. There are many museums in the city of Nizhny Novgorod but, one that stands out from the crowd is the History of Punishment in the Middle Ages Museum. While this may not be the best destination for children or the faint of heart it truly is a great place for the history buffs out there. If museums are just not your thing or maybe you just want a few great picture opportunities, than a cable car trip across the Volga River may be just what you are looking for. The cable car in Nizhny Novgorod travels across the Volga giving passengers a picturesque view of the city as well as the river.

Keeping Fish: A Beginner’s Guide

Fish can make wonderful pets for children of all ages. Watching them swim can be very calming and caring for fish will also instil a sense of responsibility and interest in the natural world in young children. Fish need specific conditions in order to flourish and live healthy lives, so it’s best to start with hardy freshwater fish if this is your first attempt at keeping them. Don’t attempt to cut corners when it comes to buying the correct aquarium and filtering equipment, as this could result in unwell or unhappy fish. Tanks don’t have to be expensive, but they should be good quality and of the right size for the number of fish you’re interested in keeping.

Setting Up Your Tank

Think about where you tank should be positioned, and move it before it is filled with water. Your aquarium should be situated near a mains power supply and away from draughts and direct sunlight so that algae doesn’t start growing. It’s also important to keep the tank out of reach of pets and small children. Place the tank away from electrical equipment and keep it on a completely level surface. Start by washing the tank and the gravel in clean, cool water without the use of soap or detergents. Cover the bottom of the tank in gravel, placing more gravel at the back so that waste will gather at the front of the tank where it can be more easily removed. Fit the tank with lighting, aeration, heating and filtration equipment but don’t switch it on yet. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Preparing Your Tank for Fish

Half fill the tank with cold water and wash the plants and decorations carefully before adding them to the tank. Fill the tank to within two or three centimetres of the top and add the water conditioner. You should now switch on the air pump and filter, and wait half an hour before switching on the heater. It’s essential to wait three days for good bacteria to build up in the tank before adding any fish.

Introducing Fish to Your Tank

This should be done gradually over a number of weeks so that the filter gets used to the increased amount of ammonia in the water. Add a few fish at a time, and don’t add more than the size of tank will appropriately allow. It’s best to start with coldwater fish if you’re not an experienced fish keeper. Coldwater fish need a litre of water per 0.5cm of fish, and remember to take into account the amount that your fish will grow over their lifetime.