Viking Cruises


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 27 of 55

28 V I K I N G C R U I S E S across the sea-sized Lakes Ladoga and Onega and finally into the Volga-Baltic Waterway that takes us into Moscow. It is a fascinating journey. Great swathes of late-autumnal countryside are broken up by villages and towns that all have another story to tell about Russia's multi-layered past and present. In the village of Mandrogy, for example, a group of us take a traditional Russian banya, similar to a Swedish sauna, which involves being doused in freezing water from the River Svir; at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kizhi, an island on Lake Onega, we explore almost deserted historic wooden buildings in the company of a very good-humoured guide who explains the significance of the icons we see in the extraordinary 22-dome Transfiguration Church – the first of many icons we will see over the coming days. A day in Kuzino gives us the chance to tour the 14th-century Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, followed by a visit to the local high school: both equally illuminating in very different ways. In the beautiful port town of Yaroslavl we learn that it was the de facto capital of Russia for a short time in the 17th century – and also how to pick a genuine lacquered box from the many thousands of fakes on sale wherever you go. Moscow is yet another revelation. As in St Petersburg, there's an almost overwhelming choice of things to do and places to see. I hadn't expected Moscow to be so elegant and rich in historic Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg Metro Hall, Moscow St Basils Cathedral, Moscow

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Viking Cruises - VikingExplorerSN_Issue2_Jan19_V2