Have you been before? Make sure to go the Datsan, or buddhist temple there, it's really interesting. And of course it's near Baikal, which is just beautiful.

V is for Vologda, an overnight train ride north of Moscow. If I remember rightly, Ivan the terrible was going to make it the capital, but lost his temper when a tile fell on his head and didn't. Stalin lived in exile there for a while before the revolution (unfortunately he was untroubled by falling masonry of any sort).

Marianne Gibson
Russian Culture