For the first time I see the end of my journey nearing. Body is feeling worn, and is being pushed, pushed. Mind feels fresh, and surprisingly so. It feels the journey is climaxing, as if, for some reason unknown to me, Russia is saving her most unexpected and deepest secrets till last. Perhaps she had to see that I am worthy of them, and yes, they do arrive earned only by hard miles, and the wrestling with her vastness. But at the last you do see her – thick skinned, powerfully set, limbs of iron…but at the last a kind heart, a soft centre, and a capacity for vulnerability. That is the Russia I see, and have come to cherish. A Russia defined by its people, it’s hospitality and it’s soul, and not by its politicians or its facade.
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