14-night cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg

Trip Start Jan 01, 2014
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Trip End Dec 31, 2014


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Where I stayed
Cruise ship Nikolay Chernyshevky

Flag of Russia  , Central Russia,
Tuesday, May 30, 2006




This was my second cruise in Russia with a somewhat similar itinerary as the first six years earlier.  The itinerary on this cruise was as follows: 4-nights in Moscow, Uglich, Yaroslavl, Petrozavodsk, Kizhi, Mondrogi, and 4-nights in St Petersburg.  

MOSCOW:


History Museum:

Inside St Basil's church:
Bell in the Kremlin:

We spent four nights in Moscow, the largest city in Russia.  The first day tour included Red Square, St Basil's church, KGB headquarters, and the Moscow circus in the evening.  On the second day, we visited the Tretyakov Gallery, one of my favorite places in Moscow.  This is where I fell in love with Russian art on my first visit here.  Serso (from able2know) and his wife met me at the art museum, and joined our group during the tour.  What was disappointing was that the Tretyakov no longer allows picture-taking.   You'll have to wait until I post my blog on my first visit to Russia to see some of the great paintings I saw there.   After the tour at the art museum ended, I told the Tour Director that I was leaving the group to spend the rest of the day with Serso.   We had lunch at a restaurant not far from the art museum, and Serso's wife had to leave for an appointment.  Serso was good enough to show me around the Moscow most tourist in groups do not see; we took the metro to Red Square to visit the History Museum and inside of St Basil's church.  We walked through GUMS (pronounced gooms) department store.  He took me to Arbat Street, a favorite place for locals and tourists. 

What impressed me was the huge improvement in the Russian economy from my first visit to now.  We were told by our local guide in Moscow that the inflation rate was 10.5% a year, but their wages were increasing at 12% a year. 

On my first cruise, the boat had mostly professionals with multi-language skills; doctors, lawyers, and professors.   This time around, most of the ship's staff were college students.


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THIS IS A SHORT VIDEO ON THE CRUISE: click on the picture to view.
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UGLICH:
The following pictures are a mixture of what we saw during the cruise and at some of our port stops - no no particular order.




Uglich is an ancient town founded in 937AD.  It was favored by Ivan the Terrible for his campaign against the Golden Horde in the late 16th century.  Ivan's son, Dmitry, was canonized after he was murdered, and the Church of St Dmitry on the Blood was built in 1692.  We were able to visit this church.  We were hosted to dinner at a local's home of vegetables grown in their own garden and home-made vodka. 

YAROSLAVL:
Yaroslavl was founded in the 11th century by Kiev Prince Yarslav the Wise.  In the 17th century, Yaroslavl was the second largest town in Russia after Moscow.

The main attraction in Yaroslavl is the Church of St Elijah the Profit built in the mid-17th century. 

Day 8: Volga River sailing day.

A quick course in the Russian language:
DObraye OOtra = good morning
DObri Den = good afternoon
DObri Vecher = good evening
spaSEEba = thank you
Da = yes
Niet = no
WC = toilet (many places charge a fee
and finally, "vodka" = vodka

PETROZAODSK:

Petrovadodsk translate into "Peter's factory."  Peter the Great decreed this site for a cannon and weapons foundry, because the region is rich in iron ore deposits.  Skilled workers from England were imported to complete the project, and Karl Marx Prospeckt was once known as English Street.

KIZHI:

Is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of an open air architectural museum established in 1966.  The earliest Kizhi churches dates back to the last half of the 16th century.

The Church of Lazar of Murom is the oldest monument of wooden architecture in Russia built in the middle of the 14th century.

MANDROGI:


Mandrogi was established in 1996 as a living open air museum with an Arts and Crafts Pavilion where one can observe artisans creating their artworks.   There is also a Vodka Museum where one can see over 1,000 bottles of vodka, and purchase vodka.

ST PETERSBURG:



Various scenes from St Petersburg and Catherine the Great's Palace.




St Petersburg is known as the Venice of Russia with its canals and river.  Most people come to St Petersburg to visit the State Hermitage Art Museum that houses over 3 million pieces of art works.  The main building was the Winter Palace, the former state residence of Russia's emperors.   My favorite section of the Hermitage is in the left side rear of the building that houses the Impressionist Paintings. 

I have also become familiar with Nevzky Prospkt, the main shopping street in St Petersburg that's about three miles long.  On the far end is the Alexander Nevsky Monastery where I visited Tchaikovsky's tomb.   While walking my way back towards the Hermitage, I stoped at a Japanese restaurant to have lunch, and also looked into the train station to find a huge map of Russia with the train routes on one wall.   I lost track of time, and before I knew it, it was 4:15, and I had to catch the bus back to the boat at 5PM.   Half running and speed walking, I made it back in plenty of time for the bus.

We were treated to a ballet, Gisselle, at the Hermitage Theater one evening, and also to the Marinsky Theater to listen to Russia's star opera singer, Vladimir Galuzin.    His singing was so beautiful, I cried.  

    
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