After Moscow, our first stop on my Russian vacation package was Uglich, a small town on the Volga River. We had a lovely walking tour, a quaint small town dating back to the year 1148. This is where Ivan the Terrible's son Dmitri was killed. He was found on the river banks and there stands a beautiful church now in his honor called Church of St. Dmitri on the Blood. Nearby is the Cathedral of Our Savior’s Transfiguration. Both of these churches are very close to each other and boast the beautiful onion domes that Russian churches are famous for. This is such a cute little city and there are vendors set up with traditional Russian souvenirs at reasonable prices, including nesting dolls, Soviet memorabilia & wool scarves.
Next stop was charming Yaroslavl. Prince Yaroslavl founded this town in the 11th century on the site where he killed a bear, the symbol for this city. After a tour we had a great time in an open market and did some shopping. The thing to buy in Yaroslavl is Russian lacquer boxes. They are expensive and an unfinished box before they paint anything on them with a brush with 1 hair on it is 45 euros, so these are very pricey but collectible souvenirs.At Goritzy we toured the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery founded in 1397. There is a folklore about the lake it overlooks. They say if you wash in it you will be 10 years younger (of course I jumped in).
Onward to Kizhi. Kizhi is a little town that only has 50 people living there year around. It is one of the most ancient inhabited sites in Russia; it is now an open air museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the sight of the oldest church in Russia. But the thing to see in Kizhi is the Church of the Transfiguration with its 22 timbered onion domes. The church was built completely of wood without a single nail; it’s hard to imagine!