My husband grabs my shoulders and swings me around towards the fountain. “Take a photo of that,” he whispers. I peer at the scene ahead. A policeman and police woman are pointing and gesticulating at two young women dangling their legs in a huge fountain in the centre of the square. The girls are presumably being told to remove their limbs from the fountain. They reluctantly do so.
“Did you get it?” he says but I still have no idea why he is so keen for me to take a photo of the fountain.
Yaroslavl – monasteries and churches
When travelling, quite often the sights that stick in your mind are the things that you don’t expect to see. While on a river cruise from St Petersburg to Moscow, I spent a few hours exploring the city of Yaroslavl. Yaroslavl is about 250km north east of Moscow, with a World Heritage Centre that is worth taking a detour to explore.
Yaroslavl is the oldest town on the Volga River and has a treasure trove of World Heritage churches and monasteries. The old town is rich in history. Sights include the 12th-century Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery (Transfiguration of the Savior) and Cathedral. The Transfiguration Cathedral was constructed in 1516 and is the oldest detached building standing in the city. The Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery in Yaroslavl was originally built as a citadel and kremlin.
Yaroslavl – Stilettos and miniskirts
My husband grabs be by the hand and drags me towards the police van. Then I suddenly realise what he’s pointing at.
The police woman is wearing a mini skirt.
And a pair of black stilettos.
I get the message and get to work – surreptitiously doing a paparazzi manouvre to capture her footwear on camera while trying to avoid getting arrested. It’s an opportunity too good to miss. After all, where else in the world would you see a police person on the beat wearing party footwear?
Later, I ask our guide, Katrina, whether it’s common for a police woman wearing stilettos. Katrina gives me a look that spells are-you-stupid?
“But of course. She’s a woman isn’t she? Surely she is entitled to wear what she wants?” says Katrina.
“How does she chase the bad guys?” I ask.
I receive another curious stare from Katrina who replies: “Why would she? That’s what the guy is for!”
Somehow, while in Russia this explanation seems quite logical.