This post continues our 4 day road trip on the Golden Ring outside of Moscow. For an overview of the entire trip see Golden Ring Road Trip, Day 1 – Moscow to Vladimir.
Day 2 – Yaroslavl Plus a Half-day Trip up the Volga River
Sights of Yaroslavl
This mid-sized regional capital, has a charming compact old town with numerous onion-domed cathedrals dotting the sky-line.
Sights are minimal – visiting the Kremlin and other churches and strolling the town and park along the river. Lonely Planet also mentions the Music and Time Museum, filled with musical instruments, clocks, bells and vinyl records.
Having a bit of icon fatigue after days of visiting historic Russian churches – who would have guessed that they have so many – we skipped the churches, walked around the Kremlin and checked out the view from the top of the Belfry. The weather had been mostly cloudy and rainy at times, but the clouds magically lifted for a few rays of sunshine while we were at the top of the Belfry.
Access to the Belfry is on a special ticket purchased at the entrance. At the ticket window there is a list with exhibitions and attractions listed in English, each with a separate price.
Driving and Parking in Yaroslavl
If you have your own vehicle it takes work to negotiate the seemingly endless chaotic drive into the center city (way too long for a population of only 600,000). Once in town, however, there is tons of free parking. I write this in mid-October, so finding a parking place may be more difficult in summer.
Drive along the Volga River
With the clouds lifting after lunch we decided to do a short drive into the countryside along the Volga river to Tutayev, crossing the river on the ferry and coming back the other side. Leaving Yaroslavl at 2PM on a Friday there was heavy traffic on the drive out on the west side of the river, it was not picturesque and the day’s adventure seemed like a bust until we got to the ferry dock. At the dock the small ferry was just leaving. The jovial attendant rushed us to back the car on to the ferry and pay our 250 rubbles. Two hundred fifty was the only English he spoke. The ferry left immediately for the other side.
Surprisingly the east side of the Volga was less populated, had less traffic and better roads with fewer potholes. It turned out to be a pleasant drive through fields interspersed with treed sections of cheerful fall foliage and a few examples of the gingerbread Russian construction. However, we found better towns and examples of this type of architecture on our drive to Yaroslavl the day before. See the previous post.
October 11, 2019
For links to all the posts in this series see the Russia page.