Travel Passengers dine in the restaurant car of the Red Arrow to St Petersburg

For 150 years the railway line between Moscow and St Petersburg ran as straight as an arrow for 403 miles. Straight, but for one big bend near Novgorod. The story goes that Tsar Nicholas was so fed up of officials dithering over the route that he plonked a ruler on the map and drew a straight line between the two cities, accidentally drawing around his finger in the process. Too terrified to point out his error, the builders constructed the railway with the Tsar's bump in place.

5 ways to... follow Dalí

From Catalonia via Paris to the shores of Florida

Book review: 'One Another' by Alisa Resnik

The winner of this year’s European Publishers Award for Photography is Alisa Resnik for her project One Another. The winning book is published simultaneously in five editions, in five languages.

One of the cylinders of the final Megatons-to-Megawatts shipment, on its way to the uranium plant in Paducah

How America uses Russian warheads to heat its homes

For 10 years shipments of uranium have been quietly changing hands

Freelance videographer Kieron Bryan (second left) with Greenpeace activists, Anthony Perrett (left), Alexandra Harris, Iain Rogers and Phil Ball (right), as they arrive at St Pancras Station, London, after being detained in Russia as part of the so-called 'Arctic 30'

Five British members of the 'Arctic 30' return to Britain and vow to continue the campaign

Greenpeace campaigners were greeted by jubilant friends and family at St Pancras Station on Friday night

Greenpeace International activist Mannes Ubels from the Netherlands jumps for joy holding his passport outside of the offices of the Federal Migration Service Department in St. Petersburg after receiving a Russian transit visa

Arctic 30 heading home after being cleared under Putin amnesty

30 Greenpeace activists detained in September will have left the country by the end of the weekend after having their charges dropped and being issued transit visas

26 members of the so-called 'Arctic 30' pictured at the beginning of December

Russia formally drops criminal charges against Arctic 30 Greenpeace activists

The protesters and two freelance journalists, including six Britons - were arrested after Russian authorities boarded their ship, the Arctic Sunrise, during an anti-drilling demonstration in September

Fortune's Fool at the Old Vic
Alex Harris was one of the first 'Arctic 30' detainees to be granted bail

Arctic 30: Russia 'defies international ruling' and tells protesters they cannot leave

The Russian authorities have told a group of Greenpeace activists and freelance journalists arrested during a protest against oil drilling in the Arctic that they cannot leave the country.

Police officers detain a gay rights activist during an unauthorized protest - Irina Putilova has said that the new anti-gay legislation in Russia had increased homophobic violence

Russian bisexual activist Irina Putilova is released from detention and taken off fast-track asylum list

Thousands of people signed a petition to support the 28-year-old's release

Police officers detain a gay rights activist during an unauthorized protest - Irina Putilova has said that the new anti-gay legislation in Russia had increased homophobic violence

Bisexual Russian activist fears for her safety after British authorities threaten to deport her

Irina Putilova could be returned home in a matter of days

Pavel Dmitrichenko, left, in footage released by Moscow police. The dancer was convicted of organising an acid attack on Sergei Filin, right

Bolshoi Ballet dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko sentenced to six years in prison over acid attack on artistic director Sergei Filin

Dancer and two co-defendants found guilty of attack which almost blinded the company’s artistic director Sergei Filin

Greenpeace arctic protest: Briton Philip Ball is freed

He was granted bail last week but remained in detention before being released by a court in St Petersburg today

British Greenpeace International activist Anthony Perrett at the Court hearings, in Murmansk, Russia

Greenpeace Arctic 30: Five Britons released on bail

Mr Perrett and Bryan have now been moved to an undisclosed location after a St Petersburg court granted their release

Members of the Native American Women Warriors march during the annual Veterans Day Parade in New York earlier this month

First people to colonise the Americas before Christopher Columbus are linked to Europe by new DNA discovery

DNA indicates that group of Siberians must have played a key role

Greenpeace Arctic 30: Russia grants bail to captain and two Britons

Captain Peter Wilcox and Britons Alex Harris and Kieron Bryan were granted bail today along with two other Greenpeace activists

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project