20th August – Issady near Yaroslavl

22 Aug

The camping spot just outside the hotel worked out well, and we decided that for city night stops it would be a good option to ask for parking either in or just outside an hotel car park area. It felt very secure knowing that the security guard was watching over us … thanks!



Our plan was to cut across country to Jaroslavl via small villages. This time it worked out perfectly and the roads were actually very good and although it looked as though it would be a challenge to navigate, the signposts to the city were fairly regular. We then passed the city and found the M8 which we needed to stay on for a while to get to Issady. Thank goodness for our Russian lessons!!



As it was all going so well we decided to use very small roads again to cut across to the dacha. The only problem with this was the fact that the roads shown on the map are not always there. This time we found the road getting smaller and smaller and finally ending on a grassy area outside  some small dachas but not the ones we wanted! Oh well another chance to practice our Russian …. left, right, straight on, thank you being the most common words …. plus shaking of head and sign language meaning no road!!



A typical wooden dacha.



Another about turn and a couple more stops for directions led us to the right road. About an hour later we arrived at the right village and met with our Russian teacher Liuba and her husband Mark! Last time we had seen them was in Teignmouth Devon (UK). It seemed so strange (but lovely) to be here in Russia meeting again. We are so grateful to Liuba as she provided the contact with Olga in Pskov, the people here in the dacha and Marat the Russian captain and his family who we will be travelling with us onwards from Kazan.

Our hosts were Svetlana and Vladimir and they were so kind and welcoming. People came and went over the weekend, but they were all so friendly, open and hospitable. They are rightly proud of the country and wanted us to have a good time ….. which we did! The traditional welcome is with shots of vodka and although we were able to go along with it for a while, we had to drop out through lack of practice!





Almost as soon as we sat down it was time for a fishing expedition for me and for Marjool to visit an area only accessible by boat, where she met Victor and Galay.





On the way way back both Marjool and I were treated to a ride on a classic Russian motorcycle. We do not have pictures of Marjool but I am sure that Mark can e-mail some (?!) but I got the chance to meet another friendly local!



Marjool had a chance to visit a slightly eccentric but friendly man who has built a replica of a spaceship that landed on earth many years ago …??! It doubles up as a summer home and has a great location. The planning laws are slightly more relaxed than the UK.



Needless to say Graham caught no fish : (   Oh well maybe tomorrow!


The host then challenged Graham to a game of Russian billiards. The pictures were a bit hazy as it followed more Russian hospitality. Vladimir won after a close match ….. Russia 1 – England 0 !!


The evening finished with a banya …… basically a sauna but with whipping. A tight bundle of oak leaves were used to whip each other (reasonably gently!) which felt surprisingly nice …… could certainly get to like it ….. and it is good for the skin … really! Sorry no pictures!!






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