Bears abound in Yaroslavl. I suppose the apocryphal story of Yaroslavl the Wise killing a bear with his hands might have something to do with several of these examples (the somewhat unhappy Masha who lives in a cage by herself with a rubber tire on the grounds of the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery and the full, legit bear skin hanging above the bed in my hotel here).
Start: Kostroma, Russia
End: Yaroslavl, Russia
Elevation Gain: 1134ft
Elevation Loss: 1118ft
Reading Material:A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II – Gerhard L. Weinberg
Audio Material: Marketplace; Diaen Rehm News Roundups; World in Words; On The Media
A nearly perfect bike touring day.
Light drizzle kept temps perfect. Road surface was highway but only 2-lane, light utilization and a decent shoulder. Good workout but arrived at destination Yaroslavl with enough time (and energy) to have a beer and check out some sights before turning in for the night.
Passed a large military facility that I will guess was for paratroopers based on the logo on the barbed wire gates. I didn’t stick around too long to confirm — would rather not meet any Spetsnaz. Found another fading brick church. This one was huge, empty and boarded up. But, it sported a super nice belltower.
Depending on how you count, Yaroslavl is the oldest of the Golden Ring cities. Located at the intersection of the Kotorosl and Volga Rivers, it has always been an important trading and transportation city. Just as the historical American city of Springfield was founded by its namesake Jebediah Springfield when he killed a bear with his bare hands, Yaroslavl the Wise founded the city and legend has it conquered a nearby clan by impressing them with his ability to wrestle a bear (hence the bear on the city’s Coat of Arms). The city was a favorite target for destruction by the Mongol Horde who repeatedly burned the primarily wooden town. Today, Yaroslavl retains importance with a population of 600,000 and multiple universities.