Date: 12 July 2017
Location: Viking Akun on the River Volga on the way to Yaroslavl
We are due to arrive at the city of Yaroslavl around 08.00, but I am awake at 04.00 thinking about Brexit! One of the things about cruising is that you are more or less forced to talk to people that you would not necessarily communicate with on a “normal” holiday. You also find yourself saying the same thing over and over again. It gets a bit wearing giving the same brief biographical details, but on this holiday what is even more wearing is explaining the lunacy of Brexit to numerous pairs of Americans!
So far we haven’t come across anybody who admits to being a Trump supporter. A lot of the people we have met are very worried about what their health care provision will be. We even met a retired cardiologist and his wife last night who are concerned about whether they will be able to afford their rocketing health care premiums in the long term! The couples we have met so far seem to understand completely my frustration over Brexit. Although this is gratifying, it does mean that the subject is brought up again and again: hence my insomnia. The latter is not helped by the fact that it doesn’t seem to stay dark here for very long! I think this will become even more pronounced as we get closer to Saint Petersburg.
We left the boat around 08.15. There were several buses in the small parking area at the river port. Our Viking guide was Alexei and our local guide, who wore a sort of cowboy hat, turned out to also be called Alexei. Yaroslavl is his home town.
We were driven round the city to get ourselves orientated. We first of all went to to the Cathedral of the Assumption, which was only built a few years ago. We took lots of photographs outside. We then went to a building where a group of 4 male singers sang us two impressive songs and then encouraged us to buy their CDs. After photographing a lovely area of formal gardens next to the river, which were built as part of Yaroslavl’s 1000 year celebrations, we were taken for some free time in the city centre after visiting the market and sampling some of the local produce. After the free time we went to the Church of Elijah the Prophet. This was very impressive but it was also very busy. We then went to the Governor’s House where we were shown round by a pretty young girl. She, another girl and two boys then gave us a display of dancing.
In the evening Wosog and I joined up with an American couple from Boston and won a bottle of wine in the music quiz!