Hegg's Italy and Russia Trip Summer 2011 travel blog

July 22, Friday, Kizhi Island

We awoke again to bright sun and warm weather.  As usual, we have sailed through the night making much headway.  We are reaching the north part of the Volga-Baltic Waterway, and have come through the Vytegra River, having descended through 5 locks in the early morning hours, and enter the final lock during breakfast, completing a 242 ft drop in about 20 miles.  There is a fair amount of oil tanker traffic through this portion of the waterway, and many piles of birch logs along the sides of the river waiting to be transported.  There are many gulls and terns but not many other birds.  The low deciduous forrest, and marsh grasses along the river edges are quite beautiful.  We were given a tour of the captain's bridge during the morning, and then entered Lake Onega, the second largest lake in Europe with an area of just over 3700 sq miles, and is noted for its severe and violent storms with seas to 15 ft.  In fact with some afternoon thunderstorms, it got a bit rough such that Carol couldn't eat dinner.

We had our first medical mishap at about noon with one of the men falling headfirst down 2 flights of stairs, necessitating a detour.   to Petrozavodsk prior to our planned stop on Kizhi Island to transport him to a hospital.

We then sailed to Kizhi Island, which is now an open air museum in which there are many monuments of old wooden architecture including magnificent wooden churches and cathedrals. Most of the buildings here date from the 18th century. The famous Church of Transfiguration is crowned with 21 cupolas. It is simply magnificent and almost other worldly. It is undergoing restoration so we couldn't go inside but we did enter one of the smaller wooden churches to see the lovely icons. This place was a wonderful place to visit and we hated to leave. We reboarded our ship, had a late dinner and then hit the sack about midnight while we sailed back to Petrozavodsk for our tour on Saturday.

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