Suzdal ( Суздаль)

June 2016

 Greatest Russia picture ever

Greatest Russia picture ever

During my first visit to Vladimir, the weather was warm and sunny, and I had ample free to on my side (second time I unfortunately had to get back on Monday for work), so I decided to take the opportunity to visit the small, nearby historic town of Suzdal. Plus my dad was visiting at the time and he was hoping to see as many places as possible, so we agreed this would be a good, easy one to get to.

After a 30 minute bus ride, we made it to the station on the edge of town and began walking towards the center. Two things struck me right away. First, there were so many old, small wooden houses. It was quiet and cozy enough to make Vladimir seem like Moscow (which was exactly what I was needing at the time). And the second was just how many churches. Everywhere I looked and in every direction, there seemed to be an old, onion-domed Russian Orthodox church. Each one a different size and color (although each was bright and vibrant). It was odd but interesting. The town didn't seem particularly religious, and, actually, neither did the churches. There were no priests out and about, and no one out of the street was praying or acting differently than in any other small town. Yet, there seemed to be more churches than people. Instead, it seemed much more like a historical site than anything else, which I guess makes sense, since Suzal was, at one point, the center for the Russian church.

Anyway, it was a really pleasant picturesque place to walk about, and sort of made me feel like I was stepping back into time. And I don't mean Soviet-era back in time. I'm talking like Russian Empire back in time. Everything was built as if it were the 18th or 19th century, many people wore traditional clothes (see picture above), and plenty of babushkas had wooden stands out on the street to sell food or clothes. So yeah, it was a nice little escape from city life.