Today being the last day Kate and I are together in Yaro, we finally decided to take the plunge and adventure into the city center to see some sights. We're currently living about 10 km outside the city in some sort of suburb area, so accessing the city was not an option as we have no mode of transportation outside our feet. The day started out strong when we were able to find a cab literally right outside our front door. I was able to practice my broken English by asking our cab driver to take us to the Sih-tee? and then Sen-ter? He gave us a head nod and that meant we were in business. Now, Russian cabbies, as we know, are a little weird and our guy was no exception. After some weird conversation in Russian with our responses only being Da or Okay, we noticed two large beverages wedged in between the front seats. Don't worry they were only beer, not vodka.
|Kate has great perving skills|
After the cabbie dropped us off, we started our adventure of exploring downtown Yaro. Yaroslavl recently celebrated it's 1000 year anniversary which means that this city has had a 1000 years to get a little weird. The downtown area contains a few main attractions:
When we were dropped off, we found ourselves surrounded by churches. We're not exactly sure what these churches are called or what their deals are, but we knew they looked pretty cool. The area we were in seemed like a large campus (maybe a convent or monastery) and contained a few very large cathedrals. Since it's Sunday, there were plenty of people around going in and out of each church, but since Kate and I were wearing jeans (appropriate in many US churches) we didn't feel like we were dressed appropriately for traditional Russian Orthodox services. Here are a few pictures highlighting the churches we saw.
|Awkward yes, but an impressive church|
|She doesn't fit in here|
|I don't know who these women were, but they are probably important|
|Lock your love|
2. War Memorials
Since Yaro is such an old city, they've probably experienced their fair share of armed conflicts. We found a few war memorials commemorating soldiers that died in battle. Some were very impressive to see and could definitely be featured in Washington DC. Although neither of us could tell exactly what we were looking at, we knew that one definitely had something to do with World War II. It seemed like the memorial in DC regarding the "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier" with an everlasting flame burning between two sculptures.
|She is small...compared to this monument|
|This might have angered some Russians|
3. Freezing cold weather
Although it's about to be April in most of the world, in Yaroslavl it's decided to stay February for at least a few more days. We were still able to see a few sites outside of the churches but our trip was definitely cut short because of the weather. Luckily we found a nice cafe in the middle of the city to take a break from the elements and drink some warm beverages. The warmth didn't last very long so we decided to call it a day after a couple of hours and head back home. We wished that we could have stayed a little bit longer, but after a while it became pretty tough to walk around the city. We saw some pretty great sites and took some pictures and we can finally say that we've experienced Yaroslavl (or at least most of it).
|We think this bear was important...only because other people took pictures in front of it|
|Hot Chocolate. Yummmmmm|
|The main street running through downtown.|
It was an appropriate ending to Kate's stay here in Russia and I think we saved the most full day for last. She's leaving tomorrow via car to Moscow at 7am and her flight leaves at 1pm for America. I will miss her presence in the apartment for the next 8 or 9 days, but I know that I'm going to be seeing her very soon in warm California.
on to the next one...
love,k + a