Being Brave. Am I Lost Yet?
Vladimir Travel Blog› entry 5 of 162 › view all entries
Up early and on my way to the train station. That's the easy bit. Asking for a ticket to Vladimir is fine too until the cashier starts asking me things. She soon figures out that I don't speak Russian and just issues me a ticket. Then I try to find out what platform the train goes from. This just causes much confusion on both sides with neither being able to help the other! Luckily an old babooska is standing beside me and realises I want the Vladimir train. She basically drags me off through the turn-stiles to the trains. We have to wait for about 45 minutes for the train to arrive and I think it is announced which platform it is arriving at. Anyway everyone hurridly flocks off to one platform to get the best position for getting on the train.
I got a room in Hotel Vladimir - the closest hotel to the train station. Old soviet room. But at least they have single rooms so I didn't have to pay any supplment. Comfortable bed. The room had its own sink and toilet but a shared shower somewhere down the hall.
Vladimir itself is very small and you can see it in a couple of hours. A one-street sort of town. You can get an excellant view out over the Klyazma River. There's not much to really recommend to see here. Vladimir is really only a stopping off point to Suzdal.
Suzdal: I manage to buy my bus ticket to Suzdal but then run into some difficulties trying to find out which 'platform' the bus goes from. Anyway, the bus station in Vladimir is not very big so I wandered down it to see if any sign looked right. I found the stop and then asked the others waiting if any understood english and was this the bus to Suzdal. The girl who answered didn't understand english but said it was the bus and she and her friend were also going to Suzdal to look around and I could follow them if I wanted.
Suzdal is federally protected and has limited developement in the area. For such a small place it has an abundance of churches and other old buildings. There is the Kremlin which houses 4 churches and 4 other buildings, then there is the Saviour's monastery of St Euthymius, the Intercession Convent, the Monastery of the Deposition, the Alexandrovsky Convent, and then a Museum of Wooden Architecture (various wooden buildings, including 2 churches and a windmill). Alot to see, but I have to say, alot of the same thing.
The kremlin has been restored quite well and the buildings inside are now in good condition. It is fascinating to see basically a fort. There is a nice little vegetable garden, oh the monastery is famous for its honey mead and just about everywhere in Suzdal sells bottles of the stuff. I did not, of course, partake of any and didn't buy any as it may be sometime before I would be able to pass it on to my brother. The town itself seems quite rundown. Scary to someone from places where roads are in good condition, not potholed and cracked and needing to watch your footing. Very much stepping back in time! It felt like walking about in the country over someone elses land - places you would feel were private property at home!
I guess I was alittle disappointed by Suzdal. Everyone had said how fantastic a place it is and that it is very beautiful. I don't know, I didn't think there was much different from the places I had seen in Moscow. Nothing really really stood out. I guess I really am just a heathen!