At some point in the proceedings there was the obligatory Vodka tasting evening on board during dinner. Vasiliy (the on board pianist) showing how its done and Bill showing how its not !!
Also the obligatory team photo of “The Gang of Five” or the troublemakers as we soon became!!!
Kizhi is a small island in the middle of Onega Lake (huge !!!!). Founded in the 16th century Kizhi has one of the finest collections of wooden architecture in Russia. Including the amazing Transfiguration Church with 22 domes and which was constructed in 1714 without the use of a single nail. Unfortunately currently under renovation, and covered in wooden scaffolding, it is the summer (unheated) church. The smaller 9-dome Church of the Intercession which is adjacent and is the winter (heated) church. Nearly all churches and cathedrals in Russia are built in pairs (summer & winter) “linked” by a bell tower normally between the two.
There are also numerous chapels, houses, farm buildings etc that have been brought from various parts of the country including the 14th century Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus. A very spiritual place and totally unspoiled by any modern structures – apart from the occasional cruise ship of course. The attached photos dont really do it justice due to the renovation process but you should get the idea…….
All the roof shingles (tiles) 30,000 for the one church alone, are cut my hand by Dmitri and his team with a VERY sharp axe. While sister Olga sits and spins the flax…..
Then its back to the ship to cruise to Svirstroy.
Our last port of call before getting to St Petersburg and a rather sad place with sod all to offer and a total waste of our time. Svirstroy’s main claim fo fame was its proximity to the infamous Soviet concentration camp Svirlag which based its headquarters in the Alexander Svisrky Monastery and was established in 1931 in order to exterminate the majority of the Russian Orthodox Clergy. Not a good vibe but anyway we “grinned and beared it” (bored it ???) before getting back for the Farewell Dinner and our last night on board. It didn’t even warrant a photo until it was time to raise the anchor with Bill (One of the Gang of Five and a total inquisitive engineering anorak like myself) supervising from his stateroom balcony. Sorry Bill but I did warn you !!!!!
Up at crack of dawn for our arrival in St Petersburg for an action packed schedule before the bliss of a half-decent hotel – The Kempinski – next to the Heritage. And Wi-Fi !!!!!
So almost catching up. Lots more to follow………..