Suzdal is UNESCO World Heritage and when we visited it in a cold and snowy day, we did understand why.
We did travel from Moscow with a LADA, a 70s old stylish car en vogue in Russia until 2012 with an amazingly efficient heating system! Our driver was a silent chap wearing the typical fur hat. It takes around 4hrs to reach Suzdal, quite a trip, but we were so pleased once we got there. The place is enchanting. The people are lovely and the snow does the rest. Before visiting the convents and the kremlin, we did walk around. Some people had a stall on the street and we did buy some hand-crafted boxes. We received as gift a hand-painted ladle I’m still using to cook.
Suzdal is one of the oldest town in Russia. It dates back to the 11th century and began to function as a capital at the time when Moscow was still a cluster of cowsheds. During the centuries it lost its power politically, but became a prominent religious centre. Nowadays, Suzdal has an incredible number of churches and monasteries, featuring the old traditional Russian architecture.
We did have lunch in the refectory of the Pokrovski Convent and it was such an experience. The monastery is still inhabited by the nuns. In the XIV century, it was known as a place for exile where usually russian empresses and female representatives of noble families resided. Very often they took the garments of monastic life only because their husbands wished to get rid of them. It is said that even the wife of Tsar Peter The Great was exiled here.
When visiting the churches, like the Cathedral of the Nativity or the Kremlin, surrounded by the silence and with the snow covering everything, we felt like the main characters in one of those tales, where the borders between reality and fiction vanish.
We did spend one of the most exciting and dreamy day in our life. In the late afternoon, we did drive back to Moscow, hectic and different, but always exciting too.
We felt like the main characters in one of those tales, where the borders between reality and fiction vanish.