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Published: June 22nd 2017
Ugliich's temperature varies from -35 to +35 degrees. In winter the fairly shallow Volga freezes, and in this town the ice grows 2 to 3 metres deep! A bit rainy when we went for a 90min walking tour that included a little concert of folk songs sung by an excellent baritone group. We visited these pretty churches.
Geo: 57.5247, 38.3328
We embarked our ship on Sunday afternoon. The Volga Dream carries a maximum of 109 passengers (95 on this trip) on four decks. We have a nice suite on the top deck. It is comfortable and functional but not especially luxurious. The food is good and the staff pleasant and efficient. Wine and beer are included with lunch and dinner, which is fine.
The first night and most of the next day were spent cruising. We had an interesting and passionate talk from Ludmilla, our history professor guest speaker. She disagrees with the majority view that Gorbachev was a bad leader and she also vehemently opposes the nostalgic view that Stalin may not have been so bad. She is not a fan of Putin but recognises that the most important values for the Russian people are stability and protection. Putin provides these and his authoritarian style with reduced personal freedoms is accepted gladly.
We travel quite a distance between stops and the landscape is appealing - green with lots of trees. It is not at all empty. There are many villages with painted onion-dome churches and hilltop kremlins.
I had too jolly a time at the Captains Welcome Dinner and was feeling
Now that is a balalaika! The baritone singers were great and we bought a CD.
poorly for most of the morning. This was compounded by discovering that I had left my iPad on the coach in Moscow! I'm managing sharing Robyn's, but I am an unhappy camper. The ship's wi-fi is expensive and very slow, but workable.
We had a little pantomime about Russian Samovar tea drinking and visited the small town of Uglich.
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