Myshkin remains my favorite of the Golden Ring Towns/Cities. A small village on the Volga with about 6800 people. The folks there were friendlier than any other place we went, which I'm sure helped my appreciation of this place in Russia!
My bike ride was nice - I started out with something loose on the back brace and so, I rattled down the road, annoying Benita and Herbert no end, I imagine. This was remedied at the first rest stop. My legs felt great this day. Slowed down as we got into toward Myshkin - cute houses with gorgeous gardens - saw one rose garden that was primo. Found Ginia's Roger at the edge of town, reading his Pasternak and translating! Rode to a local outdoor market and looked at clothes and shoes and chatted briefly with a few of the friendly shopkeeps. Danny and I went looking for the coffee shops he loves and found something. Then, we went on a completely delightful town tour!
Young woman guide with VERY expressive mannerisms, face, vocals, etc and a great sense of humor gave us the tour. We saw a felt boot factory (hand done) - amazing the things they can do and make! We saw the most poignant Russian memorial to WWII - they lost so many and really set up amazing memorials to this time and the soldiers. There was a stone wall with all the villagers who died in WWII and across from it, a wall with letters from a soldier engraved. The letters back to him, from his wife and children were engraved. He died after less then a year and his wife did not tell the children until the war ended, keeping their hope alive. Wow. Then, off to a flour mill with mice (Myshka!) where some mice came alive and worked for us! See the pic. Cute and funny. Then, over to the Miller's home and two sisters showed us how they live, with a fire area central to the house and sleeping area on top of the oven area to capture warmth in the very cold winters! Bathing is with hot water from the stove in the kitchen too. Huge bowls to cook in the big oven and big tongs to put them deep into it. The girls made us pancakes and sang cute folk songs to us. Wonderful. The billage was notable in the cleanliness and beauty of it, along with a friendly population. There was some building and restoration going on as well.
Took a ferry across the river and rode a few miles to the resort by the river. Gorgeous - set up for winter sport with cabins of about 8 rooms with separate vestibule entries to keep in the warmth. Went into the river here and swam a bit - really nice. Rained that evening. Had an excellent fish dinner and lots of vodka. We sang Danny Boy at Herbert's instigation - he was a great entertainment committee! We were a bit racous. One couple trying to be romantic didn't take it all too well, I'm afraid. So, at this place, the electricity went out about midnight (remember the rain). No coffee in the morning. Poor Danny.