Monday, February 2, 2009

Artisan Well

Last few days I had some nice opportunities to get out of the apartment. I already wrote about the trip to Sergiev Posad, and on Monday a friend of mine invited to take a half hour trip to an artisan well just outside of Alexandrov. He goes there few times a month to stock up on the water he drinks - not that the city water is bad, just this is his preference.

We drove about 10 minutes outside of town and took a 5 minute walk (mind you, it is still freezing outside!). The well is in the field and was blessed a few years ago. So you can't get to the actual well, it has a little church-like construction around it for protection from the weather elements and litter.

Then the water is transferred from the well via an underground pipe. I must say it is a bit disturbing to see someone's bathtub and drinking water in the same place! :) But I guess, that provides a cheap and easy way to fill your water bottles.

The last shot is what the area round the well looks like. I am starting to like these frosty, sunny, winter days away from the city.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sergiev Posad

Last weekend my sister, my niece and myself went to Sergiev Posad - one of the historic towns close by (about 50 km / 32 mi). My sister, who is a chemical engineer by education, is an excellent seamstress and wanted to check out some of the fabric stores in that town (I can just see Adam rolling his eyes at the mentioning of a fabric store... ha ha). And I lost a button from a coat last fall and hasn't been able to replace it out of what's available in our town (seriously?)... so we made a go of it. It was a sunny day, but boy was it cold! I think this was karma paying me back for laughing at everyone freezing in Wisconsin :)

It was a day trip, the ride on the train took only about 45 minutes, then few hours browsing outside, stopped at a new mall. Turned out that my sister never been to a mall before and never really understood the idea of "going shopping". Guess what, she loved it and wants to go shopping some time to visit stores, get some coffee, try out some clothing. I think we won't be using fabric and buttons as an excuse the next time :)

The town itself is a major Russian Orthodox church destination. Besides some really old buildings, the town hosts one of the major monasteries in Russia called Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra (The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius). The monastery territory is huge (you can see an areal photo of the landmark here), has lots of churches, buildings with frescos, etc. - very beautiful! My advice is to visit in the summer though.

Feel free to check out my picasa web album for more pictures.
Cold and pretty outside
Marina (niece) and me
Fresos inside the monastery entrance (had to watch out for surprizes from the sky because of the pigeons)
The Assumption Cathedral inside the monastery