From Russia with Love 4

Date: 11 July 2017

Location: Viking Akun on the River Volga on way to Uglich.

After another pleasant breakfast we assembled at 09.00 to have a 1 hour lecture on the history of the Romanov dynasty. Well done, but a lot to take in! Around 10.30 we passed the bell tower of a church that was all but submerged when the Uglich dam was built. See Kalyazin bell tower. Weather this morning hot and sunny: absolutely perfect! We had our first Russian lesson from Alexei at 11.15. He explained the Cyrillic alphabet to us in quite some detail. We were given some homework to do!

We arrived at Uglich exactly on schedule at 14.00. We had spotted the dam from a distance. We entered the lock by passing under quite a decorative arch. Shortly after arriving at Uglich we met our local guide Galena, who comes from the town. We were led through Victory Park, which includes numerous stalls selling local souvenirs, none of which took our fancy. Galena then took us to the Church of the Assumption. There then followed a short concert by about 6 singers of Russian traditional music. We went to The Church of St Dimitri on the Blood, which is built on the site of the place where Dimitri, the son of Ivan the Terrible, was almost certainly murdered.

After this we went on a visit to the home of Tatiana, who lives in Uglich and is aged 62 years—although she looks about 10 years younger! We were shown round the garden of the house, which she inherited from her parents and which is about 100 years old.  The garden included a pond with frogs and dragonflies, as well as a banya for the sole use of the family. Tatiana grows all her own vegetables in the garden. We then went inside the house and we all sat round a table in her lounge. We were provided with canapés and cake made by Tatiana, as well as home made vodka! Tatiana told us about herself and her family with the help of Victoria, who translated. We were all asked to introduce ourselves and to give a bit of information to the group. This was accompanied by several vodka toasts. We eventually went back to Victory Park and “ran the gauntlet” of the souvenir stalls, although they seemed to have enough customers without having to tout for business. We reckon well over a thousand tourists arrived at the town at the same time as us!

We headed back to the boat and shortly thereafter we set off for Yaroslavl.


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