Sunday, 9 June 2013
The Accidental Diplomat - Day 6 - Peasant Times
Today was quite possibly one of the most random and fun days of my life! After a somewhat broken night of sleep, mostly caused by my body being confused by the fact it was still light at 1am, our group was taken on an excursion to a place called 'Khokhlovka' which wass a massive open air museum located not far from Perm.
We were greeted by two Russian ladies in traditional dress offering us bread and salt.Yum! There was just long enough to enjoy the view before we were directed into a nearby building where we changed into traditional Russian Peasant costumes. Given that I was named 'Laura' after Laura Ingalls-Wilder authoress of Little House on the Prairie this somehow seemed very apt!
Once everyone in our group was changed, and now looking very traditional, it was time for the tour of the museum. Throughout the excursion our guides explained to us about how the buildings were build and the history of the area. This was intermixed with activities such as churning butter, weaving, milking goats and traditional peasant dancing.
After this it was time for a lunch of okrushka (milk, onion, gherkin soup) and pies. Having been walking around in the heat for so long it was great to finally sit and relax. The experience was all the better as this was the view from our table;
Sadly it was then time to return to the Twenty First Century and Perm. There was enough time before dinner to have an explore and see some of the statues and sites. After dinner it was off to the 'White Nights Festival'. To celebrate the extended hours of daylight the city had transformed one of the areas into a mini city with a river, several stages for live music and various bars and cafes. It was both strange and lovely to be able to sit outside in the sun drinking kvas at nearly midnight and not be cold. I may have grumbled about it while trying to sleep but it was a totally unique and undescribible experience!