Mandrogi, Russia

We sailed all night from St. Petersburg  eventually entering the Svir River which we followed up to Mandrogi.   We sail very slowly and it is very peaceful on the river.  There are a few freighters carrying gravel, lumber, oil and other goods.  There are very few settlements and no large towns.  I also saw a lot of derelict and abandoned factories.  Mandrogi is a recently created town.  An enterprising businessman set up workshops for the making of Russian handicrafts, brought in talented workers and provided housing and eventually shops.  In the spirit of “build it and they will come”, all of the tour boats, of which there are about 90, that go between St. Petersburg and Moscow stop here.  The quality and variety of handicrafts were quite good and given that we have been so busy touring that we have only been able to shop in museum shops, a lot of people caught up on their gift buying.  I must say though that the nicest souvenirs, the lacquer boxes, can cost anywhere up to $1500.00.  I think they are out of my price range.  I am also not interested in Matreshka dolls.  I settled for a fridge magnet that looks like one.  We left Mandrogi mid afternoon and continued up the Svir River, through some more locks and past many more forests that remind me of home.  The pictures are of some old Russian houses in Mandrogia typical town seen along the riverbank and people swimming along the riverbank.

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