Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Novgorod the Great

A view of the charming Novgorod Kremlin from my balcony:

I've been feeling a bit guilty, because... (well, because I'm good at feeling guilty), but really, because I had been getting pretty down on Moscow and Russia in the last few weeks, which certainly crept into this here blog. My observations have been a bit severe and mean-spirited. But in my defense, an "eyes wide open" stance can be tough here in Russia.

But, Novgorod has saved me (if you'll allow me to dramatize a bit). The town is simply lovely and I've thoroughly enjoyed exploring its history and delving more into aspects of my research that up to now have remained vague or opaque. I plan to write more about all of this next time, including details of my participation in an archaeological dig (!!) and decoding of 800-yr-old documents written on birch bark (!!).

For now, I'm still a bit busy with various things going on here so I'll cut this entry a bit short and leave you with a few teaser photos...

Inside the Novgorod Kremlin: the famous 11th century St. Sophia cathedral and a monument to, uhhh... the Millennium of Russia (thanks Wikipedia!).

...Hey, cool -- this is the same view that's on the 5 Ruble note! (which is about 16 cents; it's no longer in circulation, replaced entirely by a coin, I think).

Here's me digging for buried treasure at the excavation site in Novgorod:

Last, but not least: buried treasure itself -- a letter written on birchbark from the 13th century (or earlier!):


Christine said...

I see another advanced degree in your future, if only because you look so awesome in floppy hats. Glad you're liking this leg of your journey and don't worry about the guilt. It's part of your charm (I know this because I believe it to be part of mine).

cg said...

did you do radioactive dating on your birchbark? ;)

Sandra said...

Would it be possible to stay there another few weeks??? They say the "real" Russia is outside of Moscow anyway!

Christine said...

I'm with Sandy.