Trip Start Jul 25, 2008
56Trip End Sep 18, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
We visited Yaroslavl, one of the Golden Ring cities, founded in 1010. It was named after Prince Yaroslavl the Wise who is on the Russian 1000 ruble note. Yaroslavl is a city of scientists and students and a centre of the engineering, chemical, textile and processing industries. It is also a place for Cultural and Arts and we were taken to their puppet theatre which had beautifully made puppets where children could learn the art as well as see the shows. They had locally produced lacquer boxes, which Russia is famous for, and Graham bought a beautiful one made from abalone shell.
We visited churches, saw cats which the city is famous for and walked through the town and markets - the delicatessen was very interesting
In the afternoon we attended a talk by Professor Inna Gritsenko on "The Communist Experiment in Russia." The lecturer said surveys had shown that the Russian people felt the happiest in the 70's. One of our guides said her childhood was happy and safe. She had good teachers, good schooling, learnt English and went to University - all under Communism. The culture is to look to a leader. There is very little confidence in local and regional governments but as a society, Russians put faith in one leader such as the Tsars, Stalin, Lenin and Putin. An old Russian fairy tale depicts the Russian psyche - it briefly went like this - a man caught a golden fish that would grant him a wish. He asked for a bag of gold. He was granted this only if he was happy for his neighbour to get two bags of gold. The man was not happy and he went through several other wishes (houses etc) but always his neighbour would receive twice. His final wish was for the golden fish to tear out one of his eyes.
The lecturer felt this summed up Russian thinking.
It was then time to get into the real traditional Russian culture!!!!! At the Vodka tasting party, five types of vodka were sampled - Stolichnaya, Moskovskaya, Piertsovka, Starka and Lemonnaya. They were served with traditional appetizers (zakuskas) - caviar and herring. We then had a Russian Blini Dinner - Russian pancakes accompanied by caviar and Russian vodka and we were asked to go dressed up. Many didn't get dressed up but Graham and I went as Russians and got into the fun of it all. A GOOD NIGHT !!!!!