Our cabin is one of the nicest on the ship.  (Planned that way!)  Even so, there is very little place to put clothes.  I stashed my underwear on a shelf in the bathroom.
We selected this particular cruise for a few reasons.  The ship is one of the smallest cruise ships on this route. (It only takes a maximum of 110 passengers.)  It is one of the nicest on the route.  And, this was a special "musical" voyage that was to include concerts each night.  We chose correctly!!

Joining us on board were a string quartet, a pianist, and 4 singers - a soprano, a mezzo-soprano, a tenor and a bass.  All were professional musicians from Moscow.  One night we had a concert of Russian opera, one night European opera, one night popular show music, etc.  I made some video recordings of a few selections and created a YouTube video of a few of the performances.  The link for the video is on the last cruise page.

Each day we stopped at a different spot for a tour.  This is a VERY popular route and the stops are all packed with tourists from other cruse ships.  Except for the first stop which everybody toured on their own, we were divided into groups based on the language to be used for the guided parts of the tour.  At each stop we had a local guide to show us around. 
Wednesday afternoon.  Time to board the Volga Dream - our home for the next 6 days. 
Our first stop was Mandrogi.  This is a small village that has been reconstructed for the tourist trade.  There are a few private houses that are actually used as residences and are not open to the public.  Most of the buildings house crafts people who are demonstrating and selling their crafts and other souvenirs. 
Cross stitch type embroidery  -->
<--  Painting matryoshka dolls

Bobbin lace making  -->
<-- Weaving with fabric scraps
The stop on Friday, our second full day on board, was at the island of Kizhi.  What we visited is actually a national open-air museum.  The buildings are authentic and for the most part are original.  The most striking of the structures are the church and the bell tower.  These are made entirely of wood. 
While we were in Kizhi, they were having some sort of service and were taking the icons from the chapel to I don't know where.  Once it emptied out, we had a look at the chapel.
This is primarily a farming community (See the picture on the right.) 

The exhibit included some typical rooms/artifacts of times past.  On the left, some spinning machinery.
It was drizzling that day. 
Nothing stops us!
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