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Possibly the BEST cruise and experience of Russia – Part 2

Continuing from Part 1 of our epic Russia trip, Part 2 is about our trip after the cruise ship sets sail from Moscow!

The starting point from which we start cruising the Moscow Canal…

Is the blue in both the skies and seas making you feel serene already?

View right from our balcony!

Uglich

While cruising through the 128-kilometer Moscow Canal, our first glimpse of rural Russia is in Uglich. We are thankful to arrive in Uglich on a day with beautiful blue skies, with the colour building glistening in the bright light!

The Alekseevsky Monastery is one of the oldest in Russia. It was founded at the end of the 14th century by Archibishop Alexy, but was almost completely destroyed but has been carefully restored since

Timely shot of the cloud streak on blue skies

Because of the long hard winters. Russia has many colourful beautiful buildings to contrast the white snow and dark day!

The locals and tourists soaking in the history and sun!

Greenery in full force during this spring-summer period

Yaroslavl, Cruising Lake Rybinsk

We arrived in Yaroslavl on another beautiful day. 

The historic part of the city is a World Heritage Site and Yaroslavl is one of the Golden Ring cities, a group of historic cities northeast of Moscow that have played an important role in Russian history.

Modern buildings amidst the historical sites

I am so impressed at the blend of Muslim-like architecture shape with church buildings. The green tiles looked like scales to me…

I like the Uniworld tour arranged a special tour to the Yaroslavl State Puppet Theater. Even though I am not usually a puppet enthusiasts, but it was interesting to look at over 50 puppets on display, admiring all the hard work handicraft to make them!

Yaroslavl State Puppet Theater – colourful walls outside the main hall

Hand made from paper marche, costing more than USD1,000!

Founded in the 12th century, the Unesco Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour was one of Russia’s richest and best-fortified monasteries by the 16th century.  The interior of the cathedral is known for its colourful and vibrant 16th – century frescoes.

Breathtaking beauty in these frescoes…

Always wondered how people paint on their backs all day in the past to achieve these on a ceiling..

Great preservation of the colours

I spent the whole morning just in awe of the vibrant interiors with such high level of detail. Every painting depicts a different scene in the Bible, and the sequence means something to the religion.

The copper shines brightly against the frescoes

Upclose at the altar

Obligatory jumping shot!

Changing of guards as we tour Yaroslavl

Beautiful memorial

Goritsky

The only way to get to Goritsy is along the river, between St. Petersburg and Moscow, which means.. yes, we are glad to be on Uniworld Cruise to access Goritsky. Goritsy is definitely a site to see for anyone with an interest in Russian history.

Goritsy is a tiny village area, with the White Lake Monastery founded in 1397 by Kirill Belosersky. The monastery was used as a fortress to protect Russia’s nobility during the Times of Troubles. During the Soviet period the monastery was turned into a labour camp, but in recent years it has returned to its original use.

But to be honest, I don’t recall much about the history, but I recalled all the fun moments touring with this gang under the warm sunshine! 🙂 And getting to know the locals, who had really warm personalities and offered us food in their homes!

Travel buddies!! <3

Our tour guide’s mum, in her home!

Amazingly pretty logs in locals’ home #nature

Stopping to smell the flowers as we explore this village

Mandrogi

My favourite day tour HAS to be Mandrogi (not just because of the biggest vodka museum ever! With 3,500 bottles on display! :P), but because the entire town has such a fairytale feel to it! And the crew will throw you an outdoor surprise if weather permits, so I shan’t spoil it for you here.

Mandrogi is a town of tradition and folklore renown for homemade vodka, local puffs and breads and unique craftwork especially from wood. You will feel like you have gone back in time into magic land!

Don’t you just love the wooden rounded top homes?

YES.. those are ALL vodka bottles!!!

Amazing craft… and of course, much nicer than the one I made that you will see later in the post! heh 🙂

Onboard Uniworld Cruise itself

On some afternoons, we just felt like lazing after the day tours, and the comfortable Uniworld cruise ship made it so easy to laze, have afternoon tea and have reflective conversations with my travel mates!

Thought gifts awaited us everyday in the evening!

Huge lounge area where we had Russian language classes, learnt how to drink vodka properly… hahah

What is Russia without alcohol? Drink to your heart on cruise and not have to worry about finding your way home as your room is literally round the corner!

Thoroughly enjoyed my Russian doll painting experience on board!

My Russian doll also enjoying beautiful dinner setting!

One of the many beautiful sunsets captured on board Uniworld

St Petersburg

Time flies and soon we arrived at St Petersburg! Unfortunately, I had to return to Singapore early for work so I only had a short time in St Petersburg, but the most unforgettable experience has to be The Hermitage! And the special privilege of being on Uniworld tours? You get a special ticket to enter 1 hour before the official opening time! So you can skip the crowds and enjoy the museum so much more!!

Sad that I had to say bye to Russia after the Hermitage tour!

A quick glance at Church of the Savior on Blood before heading to airport – shot on my phone!!

Thank you Uniworld once again for this Imperial Waterways of Russia experience.

Do read Part 1 of this epic trip if you haven’t already! 🙂

Bookings are already underway for 2019 so book your slot before it’s too late! Till then, Russia, Пока !!

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