03 August 2009

Yaro Music Festival

Had packed the bags for a trip to Lake Seliger this weekend, but literally at the last minute decided to go back to Yaro instead. I had stayed home on Friday and didn't really feel like sitting in a tent by myself on Saturday, so I decided to go visit John in Yaro.

I decided not to take the highway, but to head sort of E-NE out of Moscow, and then veer back toward the NE to Rostov, where I would check out the kremlin before heading to Yaro.

It was a nightmare getting out of Moscow, as I had picked the wrong via point on my GPS, so I was trying to ignore it and dead reckon my way out of the city. Finally got out the city and hit some massive traffic jam--cars at a total standstill--so I turned around and tried to navigate around it but got stuck in some town which was bisected by a rail line, took a long time to fight through the town and traffic.

I finally broke free of the city and traffic and got on some very small roads. Lots of pretty scenery, old churches, etc. Here is one ruined church, but there were lots more:

I should have taken more photogs! Anyway, soon after leaving this town the GPS turned me on to some dirt roads and the road got really fun, with an uneven dirt road with big patches of mud/puddles. Past these, some good gravel roads, and then a road made of concrete blocks laid on the ground. This last one wasn't too smooth, because the blocks didn't line up well and were missing big chunks, which made for some rough riding. Finally I made it back to pavement about 60 km east of Rostov, and it promptly started to rain.

By the time I got to Rostov it was past five, so no time for the kremlin...I texted John to let him know I was nearby, and headed in to Yaroslavl. I guess I haven't posted any pictures of Yaroslavl in this blog, will have to remedy that next time. Anyway, it turned out that there was a big music/beer festival going on in Yaro, so we headed over there to check out the scene. Music was OK, beer was cheap, crowd was a bit tipsy but so far not too surly, although that would probably change as the night wore on. We left by about 20:00, and went for dinner and drinks on the pedestrian zone before heading to a big beer tent type place with live Soviet-style music. We stayed there for a while before heading to a nearby nightclub, where we stayed until late...a good time was had by all.

The next morning I got up bright and early and decided to stop in Rostov to see the kremlin on the way back. Had a quick breakfast at the McDonalds in Yaro and headed off to Rostov. I parked right in front of the kremlin, here are a few shots:

Didn't go in the kremlin, have to save something for later, so after a while I got back on the bike and headed down to the dirt road by the lake for a couple more shots, one of the monastery:
And here's one for my "Rowboats of Rostov" series:By now I was ready to leave Rostov, so I mounted up and got back on to the main highway to Moscow. This time I decided to take pictures of more of those Russian churches which I usually just blow by, so here are a bunch of them:
As you can tell, the weather got progressively worse as I got closer to Moscow, but the rain had basically stopped by the time I got home. Anyway, a fun little trip.

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