By Chad Bascombe
Traversing the Great Siberian expanse is one of the pinnacles of any intercontinental traveler’s experience. The world’s largest country by far, even without its former Soviet Republics, Russia is a juggernaut of a nation, spanning seven time zones and 17 million square miles of plains and permafrost, beneath which lies much of the world’s oil wealth. Interest in exploring the great continent is growing these days as Russia’s economy is experiencing a resurgence fueled by petro-dollars and heady entrepreneurs. Until recently though, for those looking to experience the Russian landscape, the long journey to Moscow was reserved for not only the most adventurous travelers, but indeed, the most hardy.