Sep 19th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors Circle Around Russia

I just read recently in one of my travel magazines about what is called the Golden Ring in Russia.  Amid plains, lakes and marshes of vast country, extending from Moscow towards the northeast,  are scattered these old Russian towns known collectively as the Golden Ring of Russia.  Visiting the Golden Ring will give seniors a chance to go back in time and imagine a Russia that used to be.

Each of these towns played an important part in the history of the Russian State, both in its early period, when the Russian lands and principalities were being united under the sway of Moscow, and later, when the independence of the country was at stake.

The towns are full of ancient Russian architecture from the Middle Ages including kremlins (walled fortresses), monasteries, cathedrals and churches. The cities are associated with Russian Princes and knights, early Tsars such as Ivan the Terrible, the Mongol invasions and many other historical figures and events. View the cities of Vladimir, Suzdal, Plyos, Kostroma,Yaroslavi, Rostov and Posad on the circuit right here.

A ring of cities

They formerly comprised the region known as Zalesye. These ancient towns, which also played a significant role in the formation of the Russian Orthodox Church, preserve the memory of the most important and significant events in Russian history. The towns have been called “open air museums” and feature unique monuments of Russian architecture of the 12th–18th centuries, including kremlins, monasteries, cathedrals, and churches. These towns are among the most picturesque in Russia and prominently feature Russia’s famous onion domes. A major jewel in the “ring” is Kostroma.

It’s an ancient Russian route

Wikitravel has a nice description of the area and notes that “They are close enough to each other that most could be reached from any other in 24 hours (by horse). Their architecture and traditional crafts make them popular for tourism.”

That term “Golden Ring” is a new “ring” for me as I had never heard it called that before.  I discovered that it is one of the oldest Russian routes. There are many interesting ancient Russian cities and towns along the way, full of history and unique Russian architecture of the XII-XVII centuries.

Senior Citizens, Let’s Tour the “Golden Ring”

Just waiting for senior citizen travelers, there are plenty of tours available in Moscow with many options along the way. TripAdvisor provides much more information for you including photos, videos, travel forums and things to do. Way to Russia fills in lots of slots as well. Here’s a blog by a couple who chose to rent a car and drive the famous route. If you have nine days, Firebird Travel invites senior travelers to take a look at their Golden Ring Tour. This guided tour includes 4 days touring  Moscow and 5 days travel in the Golden Ring of Russia.

Express to Russia has another option for senior travelers to Russia to consider,  including some discounts on Russian plane tickets. True Russian throws in their kopeks worth and reminds seniors that the Golden Ring of Russia is not lacking for things to see and do.

Take in a leisurely way of life

As you are preparing for the journey you may picture the itinerary as a string of architectural monuments alternating with museums. Yet the wonderful scenery is just as impressive. The picturesque banks of the Volga river have lots of delightful spots for picnic, sandy beaches, fishing – and not a soul for miles around.

Golden Ring does not just mean historical and cultural monuments and wonderful scenery but also immersing yourself in the very special atmosphere of the provincial Russian town with its quiet and leisurely way of life. Throughout the journey you are sure to meet lots of friendly, welcoming people. Suzdal is a fun stop as this video shows.

Eight cities were originally included in the tourist route of Golden Ring, but many more are associated with it now. The Moscow Times provides a nice overview of the Russian Golden Ring, featuring many authentic jewels of the legendary Russian heartland. Sounds like a super trip to me.  jeb

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