Thursday, 7 August 2014

Aug. 6-7: Moscow-Vladimir-Suzdal

On Wednesday we went to great lengths to make our way to Moscow's eastern city limit and to find what seemed like a decent hitchhiking spot by the motorway. But after a couple of hours during which only a handful of drivers stopped for us - none of whom were going anywhere near as far as we needed - we decided the spot was no good after all: the motorway had four eastward lanes but only vehicles from the outermost lane could really stop, and the long-distance traffic was all speeding past in the inner lanes without even seeing us. Cutting our losses, we made our way to the appropriate  station and got the next train to Vladimir, where we immediately got on a marshrutka to Suzdal.

Suzdal is an ancient little town of under 11,000 inhabitants, founded almost a millennium ago. Unlike most places in the former USSR, this town is almost completely free of twentieth-century buildings, the centre consisting of ornate wooden houses and countless mediaeval churches and convents punctuated by beautiful meadows and streams, giving Suzdal a village feel (though our local host was very keen to assure us that Suzdal is not a village).

After a good night night's sleep we spent the morning wandering around the town amongst the hordes of elderly Chinese, German and Russian coach tourists before getting a marshrutka back to Vladimir and another one on to Nizhny Novgorod. 

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