Saturday, October 17, 2015

From Russia With Love, Part 4

Stan and I really liked the small city of Yaroslavl on the Volga River.  If we were ever retiring in Russia, this would be our first choice.  Legend says it was founded by Prince Yaroslavl in the 11th century, on the very spot where he killed a bear.  We walked around town for awhile, then met our guides for a tour of the Governor's House, a living museum of Russian art, history and culture.  A lovely young woman who introduced herself as the "Governor's daughter" showed us around and then took us into the ballroom, where three musicians played and young people demonstrated dances of the 18th and 19th centuries.  Lovely!

The gadget she is wearing around her neck is part of a great system of guiding a tour.  We all had "listening devices", which we were reminded to bring along on every tour and to put in the charger in our room every night.  Our device had an earpiece and the guide's had a microphone, so we could hear the guide perfectly, even when we weren't close by.  If you dawdled behind to take photos, or got separated from the group, it was comforting to hear the guide talking while you worked out where they were.  I could even hear when I dashed to the "WC", so I knew they weren't leaving without me.  The guides counted us often and said they hadn't left a tourist behind yet.

Here are some street scenes of Yaroslavl.  I really like the pastel colors with white trim.  We bought some chocolate made in Yaroslavl, which you find in the liquor store along with the vodka.

There are many churches everywhere in Russia, and many have been rebuilt after having been destroyed during World War II.  It seems no expense is spared on the reconstructions regardless of needs elsewhere.

We toured the Church of Elijah the Prophet below - amazing inside!  In many of the churches photography was forbidden and in others you could pay an extra fee to take pictures.  We usually opted not to. (btw - for any of the places that required an entrance fee, ours was included in our tour.  We bypassed lines for tickets and entered quickly as a group.)

Here we are sitting with another couple at dinner.  Can you see my beautiful dessert??  The dining room was rather formal but not stuffy.  It was always set up beautifully and the servers were efficient and pleasant to chat with a bit.

What a lovely way to see a country where it would be difficult to travel around by ourselves!  Viking has a similar river cruise on the Yang Tse River...  just thinking.

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