Goodbye Jetlag and Hello God?
In the flat across the hall from my host parent's live two woman who are professional guides of Suzdal. Tonight after dinner they took me out for a walk around the town and gave me a private tour! Suzdal is gorgeous as you can see. The town has five monasteries. Three of them are still active today. At 9:30 pm when I took the photograph above, the Monasteries were closed, but Katya and Lena (my guides) snuck me in through a side door. I felt very uncomfortable doing this because I would like to think that God's houses don't look on trespasser lightly, but Lena and Katya both as Russian Orthodox Christians assured me that no lighting bolt would strike me from the sky.
This is the largest active Monastery in Suzdal. Fifty nuns live here The brown cottages are their dormitories and the main cathedral is the one with the large golden domes. This is the summer Cathedral and the smaller cathedral with the silver domes is the Winter Cathedral. Back 800 years ago, they needed a winter and summer cathedral because wood was very hard to come by in midieval Suzdal. The winter cathedral is smaller, thus easier to heat with a wood stove, and the summer cathedral is larger and has a higher ceiling so that it is cool in the hot summers.
The next monastery that I visited is dated back to the thirteenth century and is still active today. It is the smallest monastery in Suzdal with only four monks. Below are photographs of the main cathedral, the bell, and the monks' cabin and brand new Ferrari!