Friday, October 19, 2012
Falling for Mother Russia
Of course, there were special sites to visit. Kizhi Island, on the vast Onega Lake, is a World Heritage Site in Russian Karelia of wooden churches, chapels and houses rebuilt there to preserve them. The church in the photo - the 22-dome Church of the Transfiguation - dates from 1714, and you can read more about it here. We walked along gravel paths in wonderfully clear air, the sound of bells - deep from the church, tinkling and musical from a distant chapel - constantly in our ears. I wanted to stay.
Kirilov was some distance from the port we landed at - Goritsi, on the Volga-Baltic waterway south of Lake Onega. It was becoming colder, and the sky was grey, the sun was grey - even the trees had fewer leaves. The picture on the right is shot from our coach back to the boat - I wanted to show the kind of houses in the village, with their tin roofs and vegetable plots. There was little sign of life there - it seemed that all the locals had gone to the port to sell hats and linen shirts to the visitors. A dog tried to follow us onto the ship.
my Flickr stream that may do more justice than these words.
When we said goodbye to people who had looked after us - the lecturer on Russian history, the lovely deputy cruise director - they said "Do not forget our country". We had been given the bread and salt on our arrival on board, and when we came ashore at Uglich. Perhaps that helped to cement us to the land. Whatever happened, there is a part of me still gliding through the dark water, with the golden woods of Mother Russia slipping past on either side.
*I've been defeated, in the end, in my attempt to lay this post out pleasingly. Too many photos, I reckon.