Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is a city on Sakhalin Island, in eastern Russia. Designed after a Japanese pagoda, the Sakhalin Regional Museum has an exhibition on the relationship between Russia and Japan, plus fossils and archaeological artifacts. A train travels through Gagarin Park, which has a lake and a Ferris wheel. Sakhalin Zoo has turtles and birds of prey. East, Gorny Vozdukh ski resort offers slopes and a cable car.
Russia, the world’s largest nation, borders European and Asian countries as well as the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Its landscape ranges from tundra and forests to subtropical beaches. It’s famous for Moscow's Bolshoi and St. Petersburg's Mariinsky ballet companies. St. Petersburg, founded by Russian leader Peter the Great, has the baroque Winter Palace, now housing part of the State Hermitage Museum’s art collection.