Suzdal and Pancake Celebration
We got up really early on Sunday morning and headed to the metro station the meet up with everyone from the other groups and Gulia to head out on our trip. We were taking a three hour bus ride to Vladimir then once there we were to take a van twenty minutes to Suzdal. To first start out telling about this trip let me tell you how we packed. So basically Sunday was filled with just taking the time to get to our destinations but then to be followed by walking and doing things. We were only spending one night in the hostel then on Monday we would head out and spend all day walking again. So we were told to pack very light and don’t bring a suitcase. So we all packed what we could in our backpacks and planned on carrying them for two days.
The bus was a really nice tour bus with somewhat comfy seats and a place to put your jacket and backpack. The only bad thing was the girls in front of Jessica and I had their seats leaned all the way back so we were squished for half the bus ride. When we stopped about for a break and the girls left, we pushed the button and made their seats go back to their full upright position. So the second half of the bus ride was a little better but we were ready to be out of the bus, or at least I was. When we arrived in Vladimir we had to wait for our vans to show up so they could take us to Suzdal. We split into two groups and headed for the supposed twenty minutes to Suzdal. Yeah that didn’t happen we were stuck in traffic for like an hour and a half. The traffic was so crazy and there were so many accidents. I guess everyone in Russia really wanted to get to the festival. I was so car sick by the time we stopped and I just wanted out and to get some fresh air, I just kept telling myself you are fine and you will have a good weekend!
Once we got to the actual festival it was soooooo fun. Even though it was snowing really badly and it was a really wet snow, we didn’t care. We were just happy to be somewhere and enjoy the festival with A LOT of other Russians! They had stilt walkers, guys trying to climb a pole to reach the top and get a bag, food, dancing, more food, beer, tug-a-war, and other games for kids, more beer, more dancing and etc. Some of the guys that were trying to climb the pole apparently decided that doing it with only their underwear on would help them climb the pole, well it didn’t and some of the men were not really the type of people you want to see only in their underwear. (I’m just sayin’). But oh it was amazing to participate in things and just too really have fun and really feel like we were in Russia and being Russian the best we could! Even though it was snowing and my hair was actually freezing because it was so wet and cold I didn’t care, I was having fun and nothing and no one was going to stop me from enjoying my vacation. They also did a burning of the ‘Lady of Winter’ so that was fun to see again.
Once we were done with the festival, Gulia took us to see some old Cathedrals and Churches and we were able to walk around and look at some off the street venders stuff. We were all pretty wet, cold and hungry so she took us to this little and I mean little café where we were able to choose between a dishes of palmeni or a dish of blini pancakes with jam. A lot of kids chose the palmeni but I went for the blini since it was the pancake celebration. They were so good and tasty I’m sure I could have eaten another plate full. Our van took us back to Vladimir where we went and checked into our hostel.
Now a hostel is basically a hotel but not really as nice, sometimes there can be up to ten people in a room and everyone shares a bathroom. So that’s what I thought this was but it was only four people to a room and really even then we were separate cause two beds were in one room and two in the other room. So Daphne and Madi shared a room and Jessica and I shared a room. The only thing I can tell you that came to my mind when I opened the door was horror, it was so scary looking and I didn’t know what we were in for. Then we really started to look around at the bathroom and shower area and we were like, no way no how are we stepping foot in that shower and we didn’t even want to open our eyes when we went to the bathroom. We stayed up and talked for awhile then we decided we would maybe try and get some sleep and not really think about the beds we were about to lay in!