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Mandrogi - Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Visit the museum village of Mandrogi on the banks of the River Svir. Sampling Shashlik, a traditional meal similar to shish kebab.

semi-overcast 18 °C

Awoke this morning to a pea souper fog, in fact it was so thick that it prevented us from docking at our appointed time - 9.30 am. Consequently we didn't get ashore until about 11 am, so while we were waiting to dock, we had a round table discussion with the staff. They told us all about themselves, their personal lives etc and then we got to ask questions. It went quite well until people starting asking political questions about the Ukraine, the Cold War, Putin etc, and the staff answered with the "Party Line".

We finally went ashore on Mandrogi Island, armed with maps, so we were on our own, which was good for a change. We had to meet at a certain place at 12 noon, for our Russian Barbecue Lunch and entertainment. We wandered around taking photographs of the wooden buildings. They reminded me a lot of north American Indian residences. There is a house on the island that has been built for Vladimir Putin but apparently he has never been to it. Russians like to come to Mandrogi Island in winter to hunt and fish. It is between 25 and 35 degrees below freezing here in winter.

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A Mandrogi Pre Schooler, all rugged up for any weather!

Clare and William and Phil and I went for a horse and cart ride around the island which was nice

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and then we had a Russian Barbecue Lunch and were entertained by a trio, singing and playing the balaika. They were excellent and Phil bought a couple of CDs.

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Putin's holiday house (that he has never visited)

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Back on board, and now sailing to St Petersburg. Have just been through another lock.

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Jim and Jose

We had dinner with Gail and Owen and Clare and William and then were entertained for about an hour by a concert with a choir of some of our fellow travellers singing a couple of Russian songs, then they put on a silly play, and Phil got up and read "Green and Gold Malaria" by Rupert McColl.

Early rise tomorrow so off to bed.

Posted by gaddingabout 17:35 Archived in Russia

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