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vagabonds3 "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." Mark Twain

Rollin' On The (Volga) River

RUSSIAN FEDERATION | Tuesday, 18 August 2015 | Views [162]

Mandrogui

Mandrogui

NO ONE REMARKED ON OUR RAGGEDY-ASS outfits as we sipped champagne and the Chernyshevsky eased out into the current last evening.  A cruise, like a well-staged musical, needs to open with a blockbuster, and ours was St. Petersburg.  Things can settle down as the storyline develops in our case 900 kilometers on the Volga and through Lakes Onega and Lagoda, the largest in Europe  — before the show-stopping finale, Moscow.

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    Under the Neva Bridge                       Svir Lock

It is 270 kilometers to our first stop at Verkhnie Mandrogui, under the Neva Bridge, up the river, across Lake Onega and through the first lock onto the Svir River.  We cruised placidly on the river but picked up speed once we entered the lake where the wind-driven waves splashed against our porthole windows.  Our cabin is on the lower deck, only a few feet above the water and the view was like peering into a front-loading washer until a crew member battened down our hatches.  With the gentle rock and soothing rush of water, we slept the sleep of the dead.

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     Porthole view of the Volga

Mandrogui was destroyed during WW II during the 29 month-long “Siege of Leningrad,” when a million people starved to death.  The traditional village was resurrected in 1996 as a stopping point for cruise ships like ours, with traditional houses, “izba” relocated from other villages.  Now it’s an obligatory tourist trap with local crafts, a zoo for injured animals and birds and enough barbecue restaurants to handle half-a dozen ships.

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    Mandrogui

 

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John and Connie, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

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