Over the days that preceded our trip to Russia, I had wrecked my brain into planning a perfect trip. For some reason, the websites indicated that a day in Yaroslavl was enough on the Golden Ring tour, believing which was my biggest mistake.
The Golden ring is a ring of cities near Moscow. They are appropriately referred to as ‘open air museums’, with beautiful Russian architecture, cathedrals and Kremlins. Suzdal and Yaroslavl are true gems of the Golden Ring and are easily connected to each other by bus, car or train. Both the cities deserve two days each at the very least. Having visited these places, I am shocked by the number of tour companies who try and finish all of the cities in golden ring in 3-5 days! Yaroslavl especially deserves at least 2 days!
Moscow, once the seat of the Russian czars, proudly wears its tiara of onion domes, armed with intimidating buildings, dressed in varied colours of pastels- marching on a strong foothold in history. It has a story to tell- of its captures and horrified tortures, of autocracy and then its transformation into a powerful democracy (or whatever version of it exists as of today) and of still keeping true to its basic communist nature. Every little detail of the city is symmetrically aligned, which can be noticed in the layers of manicured trees planted accurately on either side of the road or even a monument – as if like obedient soldiers aline on a command. But the symmetry feels very organic to its design and surrounding.
I have to admit, that unlike any of my earlier travels, I was quite nervous about my trip to Russia. Despite minutely planning every little detail (yes, I am a control freak!), I was unsure of how the trip will turn out to be, thanks to the media playing Russia out as the antithesis to a travel paradise, also there had been a blast in St. Petersburg and Moscow just days before our travel, and the language barrier seemed pretty large!