goThe delights of a small monastery town in the Tver Oblast, complete with an old kremlin and lovely views over a winding river.
Quite generously, Zhanna’s parents also ensured that I got a little taste of local culture. There was initially some discussion of going to some nearby lake, but it turns out it was further than expected and had implemented an admission fee, and given the ominous weather, they settled instead on a day trip to Torzhok, a small town a little over an hour’s drive away. The town, once a stopping point for what were once long journeys between Moscow and Petersburg, boasts a lovely monastery and an old fortress. Our first stop was the monastery.
You could travel up the bell tower, which dated to the 17th century, if I remember correctly, which offered gorgeous views over the small city. The panorama feature on the iPod was much appreciated.
Other assorted views:
Look, there’s me!
View of the main church from within the bell tower, an Anna-Whittington-classic, as far as photo composition goes:
Within the bell tower were also some neat frescoes, if you looked carefully.
From there, we headed back down to see the church and the rest of the grounds.
We headed onwards towards the old kremlin (which, contrary to some expectations, is a generic word for fortress in Russian).
The kremlin was an old-fashioned sort — the remains of which are largely gone, except the distinct raised hills that once supported its walls. They had all sorts of medieval torture and weapon devices, so it made for basically an ideal outing for most young boys, Gleb included. The highlight, though, was the view from the top of the hill, once again shown in panorama.
With that, we had largely exhausted Torzhok’s offerings, though we did stop into a souvenir shop to see some of the famous local wares — gold work embroidery (mostly leather items stitched with gold thread). But our time was winding down, so we returned to Likhoslavl and the dacha there. Our timing was basically impeccable, for just after we returned, a slow, incessant rain began to fall and would continue the rest of the evening (and indeed, all through the night). Back at the dacha, we huddled up and enjoyed a last meal before Zhanna’s father took us to the train station to head back to Moscow in the persistent rain.
The end of a lovely weekend away, with great thanks to my wonderful hosts for the weekend. Hard to believe that was my last weekend in Russia. As I write, my stuff sits in a left-luggage office in the Kievsky Train Station, read for my 11 pm departure to Kyiv tonight. But not before a last couple small walking adventures (and just a little more to cover here on the blog).