Quiet day today we only need to do a 50 min bus journey and it was a return journey so so we knew the route.
Breakfast was Russian bubble and squeak eg last nights meal fried with the remaining butter in a pack (yes, we had gone all James Martin and used a packet of butter, 200g, in 2 meals).
Packed and walking down the road by 10am it started to drizzle. 15 min walk later we were at the bus stop with all the locals waiting for the bus 159 to Vladimir, although the bus we all got on was going to Vladimir all that happened was everyone filed off the bus at Suzdal bus station, queued for a ticket to Vladimir and had to get on the next bus going there.
The matriarch in control of the tickets was shouting at everyone in the queue so I braced myself for a torrent of abuse. When she realised I understood none of her words she simply wrote the times of the buses and I pointed at the one we wanted. No seats this time but we could cope with that, it was crowded but bearable, I was right next to a local with a massive bag of mushrooms, hoping they were not poisonous!
Our hostel in Vladimir was purposely near the train station as we were due to be up and on the Trans Siberian at 7am next day, the area around train stations in Russia is the same as UK, grim. So we couldn’t believe our hostel location, just 5 min walk from station down this road……..
Hostel was fab though, really clean also a double room which contained bunk bed wasn’t what we were expecting it is what we got.
As this is Russia we had churches to see so off we went, into Vladimir city centre to look for them. Initially we were quite disappointed with the church, then realised we had the wrong one! Saw another Rublov masterpiece (in the gloom of the church) decided that was enough and went in search of a Russian canteen or restaurant, that was much harder than it sounds, most places seem to specialise in sushi AND pizzas, which wasn’t what we wanted. Eventually we found a shopping centre with a teeny food court and had some tepid mash n chickenballs, Guy had chicken in red sauce and veg, also tepid.
We had seen a great cake shop so went there was a surprisingly good brownie and choc cake with green tea, we know the Russian for tea now, chai (!) just need to learn green.
Provisions for the train bought, there is no pot noodle in Russia, only pot mash. We went back to the hostel and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening trying to upload photos onto the blog (wifi too slow so I gave up) and reading Dostoysky and his experiences in Siberian jail.
About 9.30 pm about Russian women came back, from work we assume, and all changed into PJ’s and went to bed. Why anyone needs PJ’s is beyond me as heating is left on full blast all night and it is stuffy and hot in bed.