Why, Yarrr-oslavl, of course!
Our trip to Yaroslavl, Kostroma, and Ples was great. I'm still frustrated that I can't post pictures yet, because pictures would be much better than verbal descriptions of the cities. They were all old Russian towns - Yaroslavl and Kostroma were of the thousand-years-old-with-a-kremlin-and-a-bunch-of-monasteries sort, and Ples was of the thousands-of-years-old-with-a-lot-of-archaeological-digs-going-on sort. My favorite parts:
1. Seeing (and wading in) the Volga for the first time!
2. Hearing the church bells at the monastery (or was it the kremlin?) in Kostroma. It was beyond beautiful. Getting to go up in the bell tower in Yaroslavl was also neat, since the bells were cool and it offered a great view of the city.
3. A museum that consisted of a reproduction of an 11th century Russian household along with a real house from about a hundred years ago. This was in Ples, which was hardly more than a village, so it was a wooden peasant house. The tour guides there were really great, and we got to learn about peasant life and folk beliefs. (Another one of the best parts was that all of our tours were in Russian! It makes paying attention both harder to do and more fun.)
My least favorite parts:
1. They kept serving us fish! Yuck!
2. Three instances of anti-American sentiment and/or xenophobia. I won't go into detail, but I will say that I'm glad I won't have to travel in a big group of 17 Americans when I'm in Vladivostok. It's like wearing a big neon "FOREIGNER" sign.
In other news, I'm leaving Moscow tomorrow!!!