Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 7 Matushka Volga (Dear Mother Volga)


I decided not to go to breakfast yesterday. Syl fetched me later and we sat in the Panorama bar watching the scenery as we floated by until lunch time. It was great to bask in the sun, cruising down the river. After lunch I had a lie down while Syl visited the monastery on Goritsky. The event manager suggested that the cobbles and stairs would make it impossible with the wheelchair. I decided to take a walk down to the library and met Richard and he took me up to the restaurant for tea. As we arrived, Syl was coming down to fetch me. It was a Russian tea with a wonderful spread of cakes, pastries, biscuits etc and Richard collected a platter each of different cakes for us to choose from. We scoffed the lot! After tea we returned to the Panorama Bar and I had my first whiskey. And then we went dinner!! And guess what we did then? Ate, ate and ate some more! We went through a few more locks and during the night we had some rough water as we crossed the Rybinsk reservoir. This morning we went through another lock before breakfast.
We passed under the bridge of the town of Rybinsk during breakfast and then continued sailing down the Mother Volga. I went back to the cabin for a little zizzz and returned to the Panorama Bar before lunch.

Today we cruised along the Volga-Baltic Waterway, an extended system of rivers, lakes and canals that link the Baltic Sea with the Volga River. Its total length from St Petersburg to the Rybinks Reservoir is about 1 100km.  We disembarked at Gorinsky for our shore excursion to the Kirrollov-Belozersky Monastery founded in 1397 by St Cyril. Set on an inland lake – Siverskoye – this is the largest monastery complex in Europe. It was fortified in the 15th and 17th centuries and now houses a museum with precious Iconostas and frescos. The boat berthed at a newly built dock with wooden buildings still under construction. There is the ever present souvenir shop, a small restaurant and wooden boats on display depicting typical Russian small boats used by the locals since they first settled here.
When we returned to the boat we were invited to a Russian tea with a buffet of cakes, pastries, pancakes and biscuits. The girls were all dressed in typical Russian folk dresses. At dinner we joined Greg and Kathy – an American couple we had met at the airport on our first day. Another couple – an Australian married to an American joined us for coffee. When we went to bed we entered another lock but this time we dropped down instead of rising up a level.

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