Kostroma--August 1, 2005--Ipatiev Monastery, City Tour, Neptune's Festival
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Early in the morning we switched from the cruise ship to a smaller boat and set off to approach Ipatiev Monastery from the water. Along the way, we saw the stacks of birch logs (135), which from a distance looked snow-covered. Birch trees are scattered throughout the picturesque forests of Russia.
In the Ipatiev Monastery (136-150) in the 17th century, Michael Romanov accepted the Russian throne from his place of hiding during the Time of Troubles after Boris Godunov's death. The graves of many of the Godunov family are here (148).
The city was once the third most important in Russia but its influence declined after the capital was moved to St. Petersburg. It eventually became an important manufacturer of flax used all over Europe to make sails.
We later walked around the city center (153-159) a bit, passed the obligatory statue of Lenin (155) and stopped in a bookstore (157-158) to buy two birthday cards. The cards written in Russian were made by Hallmark and, although similar in appearance to their counterparts, were considerably cheaper--about fifty cents each.
Later back on the ship, we watched a game of Russian checkers (160). The participants didn't seem to care who won or was it that they couldn't remember? Then, out on deck, we experienced perfect timing in photo 162(two trains passing each other in opposite directions on a bridge just as the ship passed underneath). As we looked at the bridge under construction in photo 163, it appeared that the piers were not lined up properly but as we sailed through, the passengers decided it might be OK after all.
Finally, it was time for the ship's Neptune's Festival with parts played by both passengers and crew (165-175). Fortunately, the real captain was on the bridge and not as shown in photo 165.
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