Day 177 Novgorod
After we pull in, it’s drop the luggage in the hotel storage before heading off on our walking tour with new guide (disappointingly not a new helen). Novgorod is Russia’s oldest city and is still home to numerous well-preserved architectural monuments hinting at the glories of the past. As the former capital of ancient Russia, it’s often seen as the cradle of modern Russian civilisation. The city’s foremost sight is the graceful Kremlin on the banks of the Volkhov River. Inside there are parks, museums and cathedrals as well as the amazing Millennium Monument, which tells the story of 1,000 years of Russian history. On the opposite bank of the river are quiet shady streets, the graceful ruins of Yaroslav’s Court and other echoes of medieval times. There’s also a church with a track worn into tbe dirt… apparently if you run around it anticlockwise 3 times… you will find live and marry within the year. so I did. *shrug* couldn’t hoit!
After the tour; Rowie, Rob and I join guide Yulia and Toni n Ruth to get ourselves ready after checking out the Yurev Monastery on the shores of Lake Ilmen, for a banya… an apparently refreshing steam and wash public bath house. With internal temperatures upwards of 80 to 90 degrees celcius. .. its anything but refreshing! So seperated into male and female sections we got idiotically sweat… nude… and beat ourselves with qads of birch branches. Well i guess thats a few things ticked off the old bucket list! At night its dinner then off to a bar where we meet an odd yet sweet Russian girl who joins us to and attempts a stop-start conversation with Rowie, Yulia and i.