Яussia* (Day 12, Part 1)

June 7

Yaroslavl

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Yaroslavl is the administrative center of Yaroslavl Oblast, located 250 kilometers (160 mi) northeast of Moscow. The historic part of the city, a World Heritage Site, is located at the confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosl Rivers. It is one of the Golden  Ring cities, a group of historic cities northeast of Moscow that have played an important role in Russian history. Population: 591,486  (Wikipedia).

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[On this morning we’re cruising the Rybinsk Reservoir, the 3rd largest lake in Europe (and the largest manmade body of water on the world) at 1,770 square miles.]

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[It was sunny, but brisk.  So the Super decided to remain cozy in the confines of our little breakfast “cafe.”]

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[We were out and about because the bridge advised of an upcoming photo op . . . ]

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[Tom’s already outside, Pam’s on her way . . . ]

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[And there’s our first sighting . . . ]

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[The Nativity Church was built at the end of the 18th century (approximately in 1790) in Krokhino settlement (Belozersky District of Vologda Oblast). The church was at the water’s edge on the coast of Lake Beloye, at the origin of the Sheksna River.  At the beginning of the 1960s, Krokhino, Karlugino and other settlements of Belozersky District got into the inundation zone at the time of construction of deep Volga-Baltic Waterway.  The level of water in Lake Beloye has risen to guarantee depth for ships, and ancient villages and their whole history have gone underwater. The inhabitants of the inundated areas disassembled their houses and moved away.  The Nativity Church in Krokhino, famous for its location, is more likely to collapse as it stands in water. The Nativity Church became well-known because of the tourist routes that travel on Sheksna River. In 2009, a project to salvage the church was organized (Wikiedia).]

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[In an otherwise isolated area . . . ]

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[Moving onward . . . ]

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[From sunrise . . . ]

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[Across big water . . . ]

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[Land ho!]

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[And now, the morning’s next big photo op . . . ]

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[We’re approaching Mother Volga . . . ]

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[The Super’s getting excited . . . ]

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[There she is!]

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[Mother Volga stands on a spit of land on the reservoir side approach to the locks at the Rybinsk dam. With out stretched hand she faces the huge reservoir, one of the largest in Russia. She holds a document in her other hand, said to represent the plans for the for the lock and a bird flies at her feet.  The system of dams on the Volga have provided electricity to vast areas. Words of Lenin are engraved on the base of the statue -“Communism is the power of the Soviets plus electrification”. However in recent years there is increasing concern about the the ecological damages and pollution caused by the system of large reservoirs on the Volga.  Mother Volga displays a stylish white forelock, courtesy of the local gulls  (waymarking.com).]

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[And next . . . ]

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[After completing our pass of Mother Volga . . . ]

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[She’s at the confluence of the Volga and Sheksna Rivers.  And no, “confluence” is note a dirty word . . . ]

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[The lock at Rybinsk is at a busy junction, serving Volga River traffic headed to and from both Moscow and St. Petersburg. There are two parallel lock chambers, each 950 feet long and 98 feet wide. The rise/drop here is 46 feet but the chambers fill or empty rapidly.  Before the construction of the Rybinsk Dam, 1935-1941, the Sheksna River joined the Volga near this point. The locks are located in the bed of the Volga while the associated power plant lies in the bed of the Sheksna (waymarking.com).]

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[And now through the lock . . . ]

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Now let’s see the preceding sequence from the vantage of my smart phone camera, lest there would be immediate FaceBook worthy photos . . .

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[And coming out of the lock . . . ]

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[Vvedenskiy Tolga Convent is located on the outskirts of Yaroslavl, on the left bank of the Volga River. Founded as a monastery in 1314, it was named after the Tolga River flowing nearby. In 1987, after nearly sixty years of closure, it was reopened as a convent (russiatrek.org).]

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[Pam checks it out . . . ]

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Meanwhile, back to the camera camera . . . 

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[It’s time for another class before they release us upon the local populace . . . ]

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[Sasha is teaching us all about Mr. Gorbachev.  We agree he was a most significant figure of the 20th century . . . ]

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[Still in view of the convent . . . ]

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[Unknown church . . . lighthouse?]

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[Tom and the Super in class . . . ]

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[We have landed, the “Alex”bus awaits us . . . ]

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[Lenin statue in bustling downtown Yaroslavl (as big as Minneapolis and St. Paul combined, with the same climate) . . . ]

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[Church of Elijah the Prophet . . . ]

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[The most beautiful church of the city, the Church of Elijah the Prophet is the pride and joy of Yaroslavl and the favorite tourist attraction. It was built in 1647 – 1650 and is one of the most complete and best-preserved monuments of Yaroslavl. Built on the site of two churches, the Intercession and Elijah, the church is considered a real masterpiece of ancient Russian art. The main structure of the temple is a massive building on high foundation topped with five heads resting on light drums. The drums are decorated with arches and columns and surrounded by the rows of kokoshniks. But the main thing is, of course, the interior painting, made by famous Kostroma masters. They have no equals in beauty, richness and brightness of colors (advantour.com).]

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[Then it was on to the Governor’s House where, out of dozens of other decrepit old men, the lovely and talented Olga selected me to dance with her.  She was in early 19th century attire, as were the musicians. This is Olga, addressing us all, in perfect English . . . ]

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[The aforementioned similarly-attired musicians . . . ]

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[The similarly attired ballroom . . . ]

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[My fan club (OK, they were there to see Olga) . . . ]

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[And here come the dancers . . . ]

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[With the aforementioned similarly-attired Olga . . . ]

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[These guys had a definited attire advantage on me . . . ]

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[Now joined by the “fan club” . . . ]

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[Fortunately, the “fan club” did not join the musicians . . . ]

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[Now you know how to do it!]

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[And here we go, the Super grabbed my camera so there would be photographic evidence . . . ]

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[I tried to be delicate . . . ]

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[A perfectly executed right heel lift . . . ]

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[And a spin (we opted not to go for the lift and toss) . . . ]

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[Do-si-do . . . ]

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[And allemande left . . . ]

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[Well, I did make her laugh.  I think it was an Ole and Olga joke . . . ]

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[And another spin . . . ]

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[And this was the last spin (uffda) . . . ]

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[Spasibo, Olga!]

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[The Super won a flower for her journalistic coverage of the ball . . . ]

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[Olga recovered in time to continue leading our tour.  Believed to be a “governor” on the wall behind her . . . ]

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[Empress Ekaterina II . . . ]

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[Seriously, I love this!]

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[Rustic Love (does not involve a “confluence”) . . . ]

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[Really liked this one, too!]

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Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.  ~ Woody Allen

Up Next:Why not Russia?

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