Yaroslavl is one of the Golden Ring cities which surround Moscow, not sure why the title but they are definitely bigger than the hamlets we have seen so far.

Another day of beautiful fine and sunny weather. average temperature seems to be about 25C, drops down at night. Only problem in paradise is the Mosquitos-they are Huge!!!

As someone said,if they an survive minus forty winters they are big and tough!

We visited the local fruit and veggie market, I bought some saffron for a ridiculously low price, now have to get it home!!! The range of fruit and veggies is huge , plus great cheeses and cured meats.

Next stop on the tourist trail was the Governors house, not nearly as ornate as St Petes in the way of decor. We were entertained by about 6 young people in costume, who did lovely little gavottes and waltz’s accompanied by a violinist, a cellists and a pianist. Nice little interlude plus there was some nice paintingson the walls. There is a photo of one lurking in the depths of machine called Boy preparing to Fight!!!! captured perfectly an aggressive little nine year old!!!!

Then it was back to the ancient church of St Elijah, actually has. Been on the same spot for several centuries and has not been rebuilt at anytime in thelastcentury!!! Startingto see the pattern of the icons, always about 12 above the centra part of the church, JC in the centre surrounded by the disciples etc. Some have more but as each icon is usually about 1.2 m by 1.2 they take up quite a bit of space. The churches all have domed rooves, usually frescoed. Some are quite grand, some a bit simpler…

Nice town and one that would have been nice to have mooched about in….

Next day, Uglich!!!

We were handed over to Vladimir, a con man, from way back, who took us on a home visit…. Uglich is a much smaller place than Yaroslavl, and seemed quite poor. the foundations on many of the houses were definitely in need of repair, but if that had been done then the whole structure should have probably collapsed.

Anyway, 14 of us trooped into Vlads house where, carafes of moonshine , bread, pickles and some kind of scones were set out on the table.

We proceeded to toast each other and Vlad with moonshine, after 3 we were all quite talkative… He asked each of us what we did, 7 of us were teachers!!!! two were priests(1had a wife!!!!),the rest were engineers!!!!

We tottered out of the house and looked at his garden, I think he now spends too much time with tourists ….

Two nice churches here’s, one where a Tsars son was killed at the behest of Boris Gudonov , of opera fame!!!!

A pretty little town where T absolutely insisted I buy a 2000 dollar fur jacket, of course I strongly resisted and settled for a pair of ten dollar sand less instead.

Back on board for they Captains dinner, Food was very good, better than usual, with little interesting additions like caviar and blinis….

We are now inMoscow which is pretty damn impressive but it is lunch time so I have to go.Need some sustenance for a walk round Red Square……

20130616-104255.jpgBirch trees on the way  to Ugilich

20130616-105442.jpgThe  monastery at Ugilich, where we did not get into the church.

20130616-105548.jpg Memorial to soldiers from WW 2 at Yaroslavl.

20130616-105608.jpgSomeone’s church, St Whoever….