- Encounters with locals
- Place or Religious Monument
- Place or Historical Monument
Getting to Suzdal by bus might be a bit of a challenge if you are not a resourceful backpacker type. The "bus station" (a tiny metal hut in the middle of a car park) is far away from the centre.
The village is very pretty and worth a visit. Its monastery and beautiful churches are part of Russia's architectural and cultural heritage. In the Middle AgesSuzdalwasanimportantpoliticalcentre and the town has existed for almost a thousand years.
When I went there in November 2011 there was absolutely nothing to do in town apart from visit religious sites. We had chosen to stay there for two days so we could see a bit more of life in a (big) Russian village. As a result, we spent a great deal of time feeding the hens in the barn next to our hostel.
I would happily go back to Suzdal but I really think you need to make it a part of other legs in the Golden Ring because the village is too small and too far (from Moscow) to be visited on its own during a trip to this region of Russia.
I had wanted to go to Suzdal for a long time, ever since I had seen a photo of one of its churches in a travel magazine. I imagined onion domes that looked like starry skies, crowned with golden crosses and covered in snow. An enchanting image! And I wasn't disappointed. The Cathedral of the Nativity is hidden behind the ramparts of the kremlin. Through the trees along the road to the kremlin I could see a flash of blue gold, and then another, but I only saw the whole cathedral when I was right in front of it. It was astounding. I looked at it from every angle, walked around it - I didn't dare go in. Then I plucked up the courage and it was just as amazing. There was no one else there, I was alone in the catherdral, my steps echoed in the silence. The blue of the frescoes reminded me of the Majorelle gardens in Marrakech. It was a magical moment and it was all mine.
Just below the cathedral there was a traditional isba, covered in its winter clothing.
At that exact moment I realised I was looking at one of the most beautiful landscapes I had seen during my trip to Russia.