The photos are shooted during a cruise on the Volga river between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. It lasted ten days in September 2017. This trip was the occasion to discover two big cities: Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Thus, I could visit small towns and villages along the Volga river and along large lakes. Above all the contrast is striking between the two big cities and the Volga region. As much the two cities are rich, modern as the Volga region is poor. But there is something constant: the presence of many Orthodox churches with steeples full of gilding. Moreover these churches are carefully maintained everywhere.
In Moscow, one cannot escape visiting the Kremlin and Red Square. There are full of people. The metro is not only a mean for transporting Muscovites. It is also a museum because the stations are luxurious with chandeliers, ceramics, statues. We must know that this metro was built under communism to be a showcase to the West. In addition some monuments such as Moscow University bring witness to the greatness that communism wanted to display.
Saint Petersburg is quite another. It was built at the beginning of the 18th century by the Czar Peter the great on a vast swamp. By its architecture, it had to be more European and more sumptuous than the European cities.
At Peterhof 50 km west of Saint Petersburg a magnificent summer palace was built for the Czar’s family. Above all this palace was to supplant in pomp the Palace of Versailles.
Today Saint Petersburg has converted to capitalism at a rapid pace. Luxurious stores on Nevsky avenue testify to this.
The trip on the Volga river and the great Lakes Onega and Ladoga are very exotic. Firstly the immensity impresses us. secondly the colors on the water are constantly changing. The stays in small towns make us feel the poverty of the population, especially the elderly.
At least the wooden houses and churches bring an old-fashioned charm.