Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


You are here: Home / News / Update: Thu:00:55

Personal tools

Log in

Forgot your password?

Update: Thu:00:55

Wednesday, 21 September

At least you could pig out at breakfast, so I did, obviously. They do have an annoying habit of whisking things off your table as soon as you're done with them which can't be doing the environment any good when I could be reusing my coffee cup and plates once or twice or, um, three times. They are also a fastidious bunch going to great lengths to ensure that the table cloth is square on the table and the flap at the corners is hanging correctly. They'll stand back from the table once or twice and double check the line of the cloth and repeat until they're happy. In many places I've been to you're quite pleased if they've cleaned the table. All this effort means the staff are constantly motoring about the room, clickety click go their heels.

Rummaging about on the bike I discover that I can get the seat off if I press it down in just the right place. I can't see any change in the gubbins underneath but perhaps something has shifted. At least I can get it open! Further, it was the fuse for the heated gloves not the controller. The fuse still looks fine -- perhaps my eyes are really shot -- however a new fuse brings it back to life. I'll have to attack the broken glove this evening.

The weather is almost a sea (lake?) change from yesterday. The rain has gone and there's almost no breeze and perhaps a hint of non-grey skies on the horizon. Day trip time. I get a hotel discount on the transfer to the island but decline a personal guide (in English). It can't be that hard to find your way around.

The hydrofoils are long green torpedoes which seem to catch the waves/wind and lurch side to side rather too violently for my taste though as no-one else seems bothered I try to keep my panicky cat-like balance-finding reflexes to a minimum. Later, in the shelter between the islands, I take a peek outside, the hydrofoil leaves also no wake (as you would expect) for something going so fast. We do get tossed about in the wake of the other big pleasure cruisers and the craft leans when the captain (squeezed in a tiny cabin on the roof -- reminds me of the ferry I took in Kerala) makes a sharp turn.

Fortunately, we stop at the action end of the island (I was wondering just how far I'd have to hike about) whereon I have to fork out another 625R for access to the open-air museum.

After that there's walkways and gravel paths around to the main church with its 22 aspen tiled domes with scaffolding up the sides presumably so they can attempt to clean the lichen/moss off. You can't access it but you can nip round the adjacent smaller church (which may or may not still be in daily use modulo tourists). As with most of the other Russian Orthodox(?) churches, the iconography is almost exclusively that of brown skinned people. Not an artefact of the age of the paintings as there's plenty of whites/pinks etc.. Why do Western European churches have icons of white skinned people in the Middle East? Admittedly, even these icons depict unusually Caucasian people but at least they have the right amount of tan.

Thereafter, there's plenty of wooden buildings transported here as part of a general conservation effort in the local area. Many of them are "peasant" houses which might be in the category of the "kulaks" like young Kalashnikov's family -- peasants who are doing rather too well for themselves. The buildings are really rather large although they do perform farming functions as well (husbandry, storage etc.). The "peasantry" does seem to cover some wide range of wealth and I wonder if the term is being used much like the French "Third Estate," meaning everyone who isn't church or nobility.

Interesting enough though considering most of these are (I thought) 19th Century they should be contemporaries for the ornate and elaborately decorated Tibetan/Nepalese/Bhutanese wooden buildings. Essentially, these are plain log houses, for want of a better description.

I attack the broken glove and cut open the inside and work my way round to where the external cable clearly doesn't meet either of the two internal cables. In fact, after lots of messing about the two internal cables don't appear to be connected together at all either. That glove is goosed. I recover an Iran Tourism Company sewing kit I purloined somewhere and make a tipsy and out of practice job of sewing my glove back together.

Document Actions