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Golden Ring Tourism Narrative

By gbibbz Dec 11, 2012 2687 Words
Tourism Paper
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”( 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
After breakfast at the hotel we got back on the bus and set off northeasterly again, soon enough we arrived in Yaroslavl (250 km northeast of moscow), the Terrain was changing as we headed farther away from moscow. Much of the drive was through increasingly thicker forested areas, and many small bodies of water could be seen throughout the small-hilled forested areas before Yaroslavl, once in the city I noticed it’s much busier economic and industry based populous. The tour guide began to describe “Yaroslavl is the first large city we will see here along the volga river, it’s rich history goes back to Viking times, but nowadays it’s a place of trade, tourism, and local industry”(Yaroslavl-Online). After disembarking the bus we were given a short time near the river to get food from local markets, or the many food stands, then we got ready to spend a day of historical sight-seeing. Moving through the busy streets of Yaroslavl we moved through old town inspecting the traditional architecture, after a long day of exploring, we find ourselves in one of the many churches in the area, the “church of Elijah the Prophet”. The church had exquisite paintings and architecture from the middle ages and other times. The internal structure of such a large russian orthodox church is also noticeable by the prolific use of gold paint and foil. After a wonderful dinner on the town, the group moved to a theater hall for an opera that night. Although the words meant nothing to me and I was unfamiliar to the operas story, I knew it was well performed and could understand how theaters like this are what russians like to do with their free time. After the show we went back to the hotel and got ready for the next day's travels 100$ for lodging

200$ a day of tour guide bus travel, and food
30$ for extravagant dinner
total price of trip so far 1870$
Tue. - Day 4
After 3 days and nights travel in a northeasterly direction, we woke up this morning and left for Kostroma. On the bus the tour guide explained that the city of kostroma was very important throughout history, particularly due to it’s placement. At the junction of the two large important russian rivers: the volga, and the kostroma rivers; is the city of kostroma known for its turbulent history. After arriving in the city the tour guide began to expand on the historical troubles of the area. Apparently the placement of this particular russian establishment was highly sought after in the middle ages, because of this many groups including the: Rurikids, Romanovs, Mongols, and Polish; are known to have laid seige to the city at some point in history. After the history lesson and some architecture appreciation, we headed over to the pier on the volga, and went out to see the volga for the rest of the day. Riding down the Volga on a large ferry, we saw the complexities of Russia’s large waterways, and I grew an appreciation for the Volgas title of the “largest river in Europe”. After a lazy day floating down river and enjoying the late summer in Russia’s “taiga” zone of temperate to cold climates, we docked again and met back up with the buses to take us back to the hotel for the night. 200$ a day of tour guide bus travel, and food

100$ for lodging
50$ for boat tour
total price of trip so far $2220
Wed. - Day 5
We left kostroma by bus early the next morning, in order to reach our next destination southwest of kostroma, Ivanovo (210 km NE from moscow). After a fairly long bus ride, I could see buildings in the distance past the sparse vegetation and low rolling hills. Once closer I noted many abandoned manufacturing buildings that the tour guide informed us were originally a part of the textile industry in Ivanovo, which was a leader of textiles internationally in the early 20th century. Once disembarked from the bus near the cities center, we begin touring old “mansions” of famous Ivanovites and their families. After the mansions, we continue to enjoy the cities history while perusing famous statues of revolution leaders, and scenes related to the revolutionary past of russia. A particular statue of great importance to the russian revolution is the “red talka” memorial in Ivanovo. After spending most of the day exploring the historical parts of the city, we move to the textile markets and bazaars of the urban portion of Ivanov. The bustling clothing and fabric industry of Ivanov is quite plain to see in the shopping districts of Ivanov, with many major stores, and other smaller fabric businesses scattered throughout urban Ivanov. As we finish up the day’s shopping and a light dinner in the cities shopping district, I ask the tour guide about the vibrancy of the city, and how so many more of the residents here are much younger than what I had grown accustomed to in other russian cities. She explained to me that Ivanovo had many universities and jobs available in the textile industry making the youth of Russia to flock there, which is why they call Ivanov “the city of youth” (rtgtv). After completing the shopping and having eaten, we try to brave the cold russian night for a little night life in one of russia's youngest cities, but still get to bed early enough, really just to get out of the cold. 200$ a day of tour guide bus travel, and food

100$ for lodging
100$ for shopping and dinner in city
total price of trip so far $2620
Thu. - Day 6
After another early morning, and back on the bus this time headed almost directly south towards our next destination, Suzdal. As we drove further south through thinning forests, the tour guide told us of Suzdal’s history. “Suzdal has been a town dating all the way back 1024, in 1777 Suzdal was granted city status, then after a sharp decline in political importance to the area Suzdal became an epicenter for religion, and particularly monasteries and churches, at one point in time there were forty churches for four hundred families here in Suzdal.”(wikitravel). We arrived outside a large monastery that the guide told us it was Spaso-Evfimiev monastery the finest in Suzdal, and that today we would be free to roam Suzdal ourselves. After asking advice of the tour guide as to what was a good way to spend a day in Suzdal I found myself heading down to the kamenka river. The kamenka was flowing placidly along in the late summer evening and the surrounding area was full of people trying to enjoy the lovely russian scenery. After a couple hours of relaxing walking down the kamenka, I realized I had to be back soon for dinner at the Suzdal kremlin, and a relaxing night at the bath houses. I quickly found a local youth driving a horse and carriage back up the kamenka and haggled him down to $25 for a ride back to the meeting area for the tour group. After a delicious meal at the Trapeznaya, a restaurant within the Suzdal kremlin, it was time for a sweat at the local bath house. That night I went to bed refreshed and ready for my last two day in russia. 200$ a day of tour guide bus travel, and food

100$ for lodging
25$ for carriage ride from local
65$ gourmet dinner at Trapeznaya
total price of trip so far $3010
Fri. - Day 7
Another early morning and the tour bus is headed to Vladimir city now. Located 200 km east of moscow Vladimir is going to be our last stop with the tour guide, and the last full day I’m going to be here in Russia. I pay close attention as the tour guide begins explaining the rise and fall of Vladimir city. The city of Vladimir was established roughly 1000 years ago, although it had been a populated area for thousands of years. Vladimir was also the capital of what became Russia, for quite a while. After a mongol invasion in the mid 1200’s Vladimir was too crippled a state to really recover as a major political power. We arrived at Vladimir near midday and began sightseeing, the first monument we went to go see was the white monuments of vladimir and suzdal. This series of churches and monasteries in Vladimir’s older part of town is full of great buildings and artworks. Our tour guide informed us however that many of the great artworks were lost over the years to invading forces and great fires that destroyed many historical sites. The particular cathedral that is most famous here is the assumption cathedral known as Dormition. It’s five spires and massive, shining, golden tower caps are famous world round and reflected the dull sun that came through the clouds as if it were very bright out. After spending most of the day in the area of the white monuments, we headed to our final tourist stop before the railroad trip back to moscow, the Golden Gate. Originally the Golden Gate was a tower over the city's main gate, that was built in 1158–1164. The gate acquired its present form after having been grossly reconstructed in the late 18th century, to prevent the dilapidated structure from tumbling down. Although it appeared as just another gold crested monastery like the rest, the tour guide explained in great detail for us the importance of the structure. The Golden Gates are special buildings in different cities around the world, they are meant to be located within holy cities, and Andrew the Pious had seen his city as holy enough and built one. After discussing the implications of the Golden Gate, we had a short bus ride to the train station in Vladimir and we all said our goodbyes as the tour group was finally splitting up. After buying my ticket back to Moscow, I enjoyed a leisurely train ride to Moscow, after arriving I went straight to the hotel and got to sleep for my last day. 200$ a day of tour guide bus travel, and food

100$ for lodging
5$ for train ride
total price of trip so far $3315
Sat. - Day 8
Waking up in Moscow, I decided to take the day nice and slow, and began by touring the art museums. I started with the Tretyakov gallery along the bank of the Moskva river. After enjoying the pre-soviet, and red revolution art I will head to the State Historical Museum and see the remnants of the Soviet block and the history of Russia throughout the years. After that I will enjoy a light lunch in red square before I have to prepare to leave moscow. A long flight home, and a new perception of the world at large filling my chest with every breath. I am happy to know the historical richness of the Russian culture, and most of all I’ve enamored myself to the architecture and country side of a beautiful but very cold country. 125$ for lodging in Moscow

10$ for meals for the day
total price of a Bus tour of Russia’s Golden Triangle:$3450 Bibliography
Russian Travel Guide TV
<>web.7, December2012 Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius
<> web. 6, December 2012 Visiting Yaroslavl
<> web. 7, December 2012 Suzdal Travel Guide <> web. 9, december 2012 Ermakova, N.N. 2006. The Land Of Pereslavl. Pereslavl, Russia: New World. Web. Paranyushkin, Dmitry. 2009. Way To Russia Guide. Berlin, Germany: Ways ltd. Web.

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