Date: 13 July 2017
Location: Viking Akun moored at Kuzino; later departing from Kuzino for Goritsky.
We travelled overnight across the enormous Sheksna Reservoir. Returning from Yaroslavl involved passing back through the lock at Rybinsk. We photographed the statue of Mother Volga at the outlet of the lock.
We were taken in a bus from Kuzino to the town of Kirillo. Our local guide was called Marina. She took us to the school in Kirillo that teaches both primary and secondary pupils. We were shown round by a nice 14 year old girl who spoke very good English and told us she wanted to be a journalist when she grows up.
There were various displays in the school related to people from the town who had died in World Wars, or more recent conflicts. The classrooms seemed quite basic by Scottish standards with not a lot of evidence of IT. At the end of the visit two girls in traditional costumes sang us 2 songs.
We were then taken to the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, which is the largest Russian Orthodox monastery. It sits on the shores of the Severskoye Lake. It was founded in 1397 by two monks: Cyril (Kirill) and Ferapont. By the end of the 17th century the complex consisted of two monasteries: Uspensky (Assumption) and Ivanovsky (John’s), inside of which stood 11 churches. The site was defended by high walls and 8 guard towers. In 1764 Catherine the Great stripped the monastery of its lands and turned sections of it into prisons. In 1924 the Bolshevik government closed the monastery down. The monks were executed or arrested. There now remains an active monastery on the site. One of the buildings has been converted into a museum which houses the finest collection of 15th century icons from the monastery. Some of these were given to the monastery by Tsars, including Ivan the Terrible. Vladimir Putin visited the museum 16 years ago and gave a book to the museum.
After the monastery we were given yet another opportunity to buy souvenirs (that we did not take). We then went back to the boat, which had moved to Goritsky by that point.
Dinner this evening was all Russian. We both had borsch. The second course was a chicken meatloaf that was very pleasant. We had an enjoyable strawberry dessert. Set us up well for the vodka tasting…