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Monday, October 18, 2004

suzdal'

So yesterday morning i left my apartment at 6:40 (still dark) after a few insufficient hours of sleep and dragged myself (on a sunday) to the university to catch a bus to suzdal'. Suzdal' is a very old russian village on the 'golden ring,' of which yaroslavl' is also a part. It's a couple kilometers from end to end, and has more or less been preserved as it was - the whole town was declared a museum during soviet times. I was going to refer you to the wikipedia article on suzdal', but for whatever reason no one has gotten around to writing it yet. And let me tell you folks, your lazy narrator is not going to be the one to do it.

We rode by bus for a little under four hours, most of which were punctuated by intermittent commentary from our professor over the bus microphone. we passed through yaroslavl', vladimirovna, and ivanovna oblasti, but the view was mostly dachas. sleep would have been nice, but you know, the history of open fields is cool too. to his credit, andrei yurievich (professor) did point out some interesting buildings and towns and the like, and it was certainly better than the movie we watched on the way back. (van helsing? has anyone else seen this??)

anyway it turned out to be a fairly long day, but our professor is a fun and interesting guy and he went out of his way to explain a lot of things to lelia and me when he thought we were having trouble with the tour guide. we were only inside one of the churches, most of which are closed up for the winter. in the church where i took pictures of the frescos we heard a traditional russian orthodox choir (or group of 6 guys. i don't know what's traditional, they just had traditional-looking outfits). they sang entirely without musical accompaniment, which is unusual sounding, and very pretty. i wish i remembered more about the individual buildings, but the only things i really took away from the architecture excursion were pictures.