Fri.- Night 0
Fly out early afternoon arrive in Moscow late at night, go straight to sleep after nasty plane ride. Sat. - Day 1
After arriving in Moscow last night, I got some good sleep at the hotel, so I could wake bright and early to be ready for the “golden ring” tour bus. Our first stop was to be a city known as Sergiyev Posad, and I listened to the tour guide begin describing the cities history “a city that grew during the fifteenth century, around the most important of all eastern orthodox monasteries, and is a definite destination for tourists with interests in art, architecture, and a rich history”(lavra.ru). After the 75 km ride from moscow, our tour group arrived at the trinity lavra monastery. This monastery was huge, inside the compound had many buildings and spires as is common in russian orthodox architecture. The color of the great onion shaped tower caps were resplendent and shined in bright hues of gold and sapphire, and I could certainly say with the sun shining and the wind blowing the trees that it actually looked quite nice outside (however it was still very cool out).
After a good deal of time was spent wandering the grounds of the monastery, and discovering it’s many monks who live on the monastery grounds, we enjoyed a large lunch in the city of sergiyev posad provided by the tour group, and then we were headed back to the bus to go to the next destination, Pereslavl Zalessky. Another 70 or so km of taiga forests going past on the bus, and we were entering a township. As the first few buildings went by the tour guide began to recite Pereyaslavl history to us “Known as Pereyaslavl until the 15th century, it was founded in 1152 by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky then in 1302, the town became a part of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. In 1688–1693, Peter the Great built his famous "fun flotilla" on Lake Pleshcheyevo for his own amusement, including the so-called Peter's little boat, which would be considered the forefather of the Russian fleet.(Guide to Pereslavl)” after arriving in the city the group went into the russian naval museum, to analyze the many advancements in nautical technology over the years. Later that night we go towards the Trubezh river for a fish dinner, then we headed to the small hotel for the night. 945$ for round trip airfare PHX to Moscow.
200$ a day of tour guide bus travel, and food
95$ a day for hotel room
total cost of trip so far 1240$
Sun. - Day 2
After waking up and checking out of the hotel, we got back onto the tour buses and began heading for Rostov (200 km NE from moscow). I read travel brochures and listened to the travel guide speak as the dull colored grasses and bare trees flew by the bus. “Rostov is a town with great intercultural history. During the middle ages and earlier, Rostov was a very busy place of political importance and eurasian trade, nowadays rostov is a bustling tourist destination with a mix of Russian and intercultural historic landmarks.” (waytorussia). Upon arriving in Rostov the first thing I noticed was the huge lake that the city came up next to, the lake was large and flat, and the brochures said it was very shallow and full of shallow water habitat organisms. The city itself was full of old style architecture, many of the upside down onion tower caps, and when we arrived at the central square of Rostov, we witnessed the Assumption Cathedral, a famous russian monastic building, with huge tower bells. We also got to see a kremlin building outside of Moscow, the Rostov kremlin is considered to be the nicest kremlin outside of Moscow, although it was never used by moscow as a capital city. After a full day of walking around the different city squares and gazing out over Lake Nero, we came to another cold dark russian night, and we headed to the hotel just on the edge of the old town for the night. 200$ a day of tour guide bus travel, and food
100$ for lodging
total price of trip so far 1540$
Mon. - Day 3