Vladimir, Russia

Trip Start Mar 13, 2007
Trip End Aug 10, 2007

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Flag of Russia  , Central Russia,
Monday, April 30, 2007

The region to the east and northeast of Moscow is known as The Golden Ring and was the old political and cultural heart of Russia up through the medieval era when the state became more centered on Moscow.  We visited Vladimir and Suzdal, two of the region's most historic towns situated almost directly east of Moscow.

Vladimir was the capital of Russia for several centuries before it was moved to Moscow.  The city has a fairly nice center with some beautiful churches, but is also large and industrial and is surrounded by some of the bleakest Soviet concrete highrise jungles and derelict industrial wastelands we've seen so far.  We happened to be in Vladimir on May Day.  Although I know May Day is no longer an official celebration, I was still hoping to see a parade of angry Communists marching with raised fists, singing the Internationale, and demanding a return to glorious past.  May Day in Vladimir, however, consisted of a couple dozen elderly people wearing proletarian caps and red arm bands humming a few Socialist hymns and dancing on the square to music performed by a secondary school band.  They looked far more silly than scary; I was very disappointed.
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