You may already know about the old imperial wonders of St. Petersburg. You may even be dazzled by the clash of modernity and tradition in Moscow. But perhaps you have never considered a trip through Russia’s heart, along the Volga river. Following the path of Exoticca’s cruise along the Volga river, let us escort you through the mighty bear that is Russia.
Moscow, the beginning of a tour along the Volga
The Volga river actually connects with the Moskva river, right in the heart of the city. The Volga is the longest river in Europe and symbolises Russia itself. So what better place to start than in Moscow? As we have seen before, Moscow is a city that does not stop surprising you.
As you begin your trip along the Volga, you will be amazed by the closeness of some of the most famous institutions in the world. The Kremlin, Red Square, and St. Basil’s Cathedral are all within a stone’s throw of one another. Not to mention Gorky Park, the Bolshoi Theatre and if you are so fancy, Lenin’s mausoleum. Moscow is a city that you must take in your stride, open-minded and without prejudice.
If you plan to spend some time meandering along the streets, your best bet is to check out Tverskaya Street. This street pops up frequently in Russian literature and is considered to be one of the most important streets in Russia. Aside from this, you can indulge in some window shopping as it is also one of the most expensive streets in the city. Much like your tour along the Volga, walking through the streets of Moscow is more than just tourism. It is to see the history and development of a nation.
Uglich, a medieval city along the Volga
You might not have heard about the quaint beauty of Uglich, nestled along the Volga banks. The real heart of the city is the Kremlin. This was the site of the murder of Ivan the Terrible’s son, shocking Russian society to the core. To commemorate this event, a church was built ‘Dmitri Church on the Blood’ and it became the focal point of Uglich’s culture. The Kremlin also has a spectacular bell tower and a cathedral, which has some impressive mural artwork inside. The town centre itself is like walking back in time.
The houses were mainly built for merchants and they each have their own private gateways. After walking around the town, you can also visit a one of a kind museum along the Volga. This is the ‘Museum of Evil Spirit’. This is a house dedicated entirely to Russian folk tales and superstitions. The house itself is a replica of a peasant’s dwelling and from here, you can participate in a guided tour of Russian folklore. Last but not least, Uglich was the birthplace of Smirnoff vodka. So, there are plenty of places to enjoy a sample of the famous tipple.
Yaroslavl, a city lost in time along the Volga
Yaroslavl is a place that has made its mark on history, being one of the most important along the Volga. Make it a must to see the Transfiguration Monastery, which is a spectacular cathedral with stunning frescoes. The bell tower also offers unparalleled views over Yaroslavl. If you have gotten the taste for Russian folklore, make it a must to visit The Residence of Her Majesty The Queen of Maslenitsa.
This is a reproduction of early 20th century Yaroslavl and is dedicated to the preservation of Russian culture. The restaurants are great and there are often folklore performances and plays. Speaking of tradition, one of the most beautiful sights along the Volga is that of The Cathedral of the Assumption. The golden onion domes will remind you of Red Square and it also tells the history of a city, having been destroyed numerous times over the years.
St Petersburg, the jewel along the Volga
St Petersburg is one of the most famous cities in the world, thanks to its historical and cultural relevance. It is also one of the jewels to be found along the Volga. The main street, Nevsky Prospekt, is where the action happens. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan is a sight to behold. Alongside this, there is a multitude of cafes, bars and restaurants where you can indulge in some typical Russian cuisine. Afterwards, you cannot visit St Petersburg without seeing The Hermitage.
The collection of art is second to none, featuring da Vinci, Picasso and Rembrandt. To finish off, the Church on Spilled Blood is an excellent example of Russian religious architecture amplified. It is one of the most visually arresting churches to be found along the Volga and is not to be missed.
If you decide to journey along the Volga, make sure you visit Exoticca to organise the perfect trip.