Sailing through rural Russia


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September 23rd 2010
Published: October 3rd 2010
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We left St. Petersburg and set sail southeast. Our first stop on 9/21 is a recreated village called Mandrogi. Wooden houses act as craftsman workshops for traditional artwork and there is a Vodka Museum with 2800 types of vodka, although your ticket only allows you to taste test 4. The cranberry and snowberry flavors were my favorites.

The next day, 9/22, we stopped at the island of Kizhi. This is an outdoor museum where buildings of Northern Russian wooden architecture have been moved and restored. The main building is the Transfiguration Cathedral built as a summer church in 1714 with 22 separate cupolas on 5 tiers. It is an awesome site.

Our next stop on Thursday, 9/23, was a town called Goritsy which was tourist trap extraordinaire. Not much more to say here. Except to say that this is the day we had our vodka and caviar tasting on the boat. It's official, I don't like caviar or chile pepper vodka. Ernest was ok with the caviar.

Each of these we only had a few hours off the boat so we filled our open time on the boat either sleeping, attending language classes or lectures on Russian customs
Welcome DinnerWelcome DinnerWelcome Dinner

Welcome dinner on board with glass of vodka
and traditions. Our english-speaking guides also had a talk on growing up under Communism. We learned a great deal. A lot of what we'd heard before the breakup of the Soviet Union was true in terms of how ones' advanced education and career choice was limited by ones' connections and the long waits for consumer products. But we also learned that from our guides' perspectives, as children and youth, they believe they had access to all they needed.

One of our guides was denied entrance to the college she wanted to attend only because she had no connections there. She had to attend the Polytech Institute both her parents attended. She is now an assistant Professor at a college in St. Petersburg and is a tour guide in summer to earn extra money. (more on current life later)



Additional photos below
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MandrogiMandrogi
Mandrogi

Vodka Museum
MandrogiMandrogi
Mandrogi

taste testing the vodka
MandrogiMandrogi
Mandrogi

Craftsman village
MandrogiMandrogi
Mandrogi

Painter of Myruska dolls 9the stacking dolls)
Kizhi IslandKizhi Island
Kizhi Island

Transfiguration Cathedral
Kizhi IslandKizhi Island
Kizhi Island

Transfiguration Cathedral detail
Kizhi IslandKizhi Island
Kizhi Island

church steeple detail with triple crosses symbolizing Holy Trinity and the lucky number 3 in Russia folklore;
Kizhi IslandKizhi Island
Kizhi Island

cemetary
Kizhi IslandKizhi Island
Kizhi Island

house built in early 1800's
Kizhi IslandKizhi Island
Kizhi Island

house detail
Kizhi IslandKizhi Island
Kizhi Island

small church with bell tower
Kizhi IslandKizhi Island
Kizhi Island

opposite side of Transfiguration Cathedral
Our guidesOur guides
Our guides

Olga and Galya
Vodka and Caviar tastingVodka and Caviar tasting
Vodka and Caviar tasting

tasted 4 types of vodka and red caviar with bliny, or pancake,


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