You can escape to Arkhangelsk region in any situation: from boredom, from heat, towards great gastronomic discoveries. This original land with ancient cities is full of surprises and mysteries, which we will try to touch during our journey.
The first day we'll be completely on our way. On the way we'll stop at the Prophetic Oleg's mound, have lunch in the real royal chambers, sit in silence next to a wooden church near Lake Yuxovsky. We'll meet in Vyterga and spend the night in Kargopol. Yay! More than halfway through!
Not far from the Old Ladoga, on the bank of the Volkhov River there is a group of mounds. The largest of them is called Oleg's grave, or Prophetic Oleg's mound. In the "Novgorod Chronicle" it is said that the Grand Duke of Kiev is buried on Ladoga (not on the Dnieper, as at Pushkin). And though the burial mounds were not found in the ground, they are still considered a "place of power". And also - it's a great observation deck!
It's a great trip, isn't it? And for it to be dynamic, come to the Gazpromneft filling station, take water and a snack.
For lunch we will stop at a restaurant in Mandrogi, a reconstructed 19th century village. These are real refectory rooms in the old Russian royal style, with antique furniture and antique household items. The menu corresponds to the interiors: beef tongue with horseradish, cutlets from Onega zander, venison dumplings. Prices are expected to be high, but no money is pitiful for such beauty. But there is one thing: everything here is prepared "with a knife", so complex dishes should be ordered in advance. As an alternative, you can look into the next pancake shop, where they cook much faster.
We're gonna go take a break at Lake Yuxovsky. Here, on a green hill stands an ancient temple - a perfect example of wooden architecture. It was built in 1493 by master monks who came to the lake. In the 30s, the temple was closed. Today the church is active: sometimes divine services are held there.
The day falls on the evening, dinnertime. We'll stop at Vytegra, a small town which is best known for its museum "B-440 Submarine". (in this time it will be closed). Restaurant "Watergate" is located in the basement of the hotel complex "Wardenclyffe Volgo-Balt". The summer veranda is open in the warm season. The menu includes stewed chicken breast with blueberry sauce, fried cigar fillet and other beautiful dishes.
After breakfast, you'll go exploring the town of Kargopol, famous for its snow-white temples and painted clay toys. We'll have lunch in the town of Plesetsk, you might say, right at the cosmodrome gates. Then we will wander around Yemetsk, a historically important village on the bank of the Northern Dvina River. We'll come to Arkhangelsk in the evening - here you'll have an hour and a half of gastronomic hedonism and good sleep.
We have early breakfast in the morning and go for a walk on Kargopol. The city appeared on Onega in the XII century and for a long time was among the ten most important cities of Russia. And then it was time for oblivion. And if it were not for the snow-white temple ensembles, Kargopol would have been forgotten. The two main ensembles of temple architecture are called Old Torg and New Torg. In addition to them, there are many wooden churches in the surrounding area, which are also worth seeing. Let's spend a couple of hours in Kargopol: the atmosphere of an ancient provincial town with quiet streets is charming. As a memento we will take away Kargopol clay toy decorated with scratched archaic ornament.
We'll stop for a snack at the restaurant "Karamel" in Plesetsk. The city itself is unremarkable, but it is on hearing - thanks to the neighborhood with the cosmodrome of the same name. In fact, the cosmodrome serves the city of Mirny, where you can not get without a pass. In Soviet times, Mirny was not even marked on maps.
Landscapes outside the window change, "harsh": there are almost no juicy meadows left, real taiga is coming around. Let's take a break in a place called Yemetsk, have a cup of coffee with pancakes (which have already received many flattering reviews from visitors) in the cafe "Prival", take a walk. The name of this ancient northern village comes from the word "eat" - fee, duty. Located on the Moscow road, the village has for centuries played a major role in the life of the Dvinskaya land. Old wooden huts and temple complexes have been preserved here. And also here was born the famous poet Nikolay Rubtsov - in Yemetsk they carefully keep the memory of him.
And here we are in Arkhangelsk! Let's begin our acquaintance with the city on its gastronomic side. Check out the "Post Office 1786" restaurant. It is located on one of the oldest streets of the city, in the building of the historical monument with the same name. Here you will be treated to original Russian dishes cooked with French chic. Pomorsk cod with cheese cream, pancakes with venison - stylish and unusual!
In the first half of the day we will be walking around Arkhangelsk. It's a lively, atmospheric port city. Among multi-storey houses there are sea gulls circling, and the Dvina looks not like a river, but like an endless sea (to which, by the way, 30 km). In the afternoon we go to the Museum of Wooden Architecture "Little Korels", where we will stay till dark. Evening we will meet in an Argentinean restaurant and jazz bar - a drop of fun before bedtime will not hurt!
We'll start the day by walking around Arkhangelsk. Visit the oldest building in the city - Gostiny Dvor (end of XVII century). Look at the wooden skyscraper and piercing military monuments. Almost everywhere in Arkhangelsk, except the center, there are wooden pavements - it's much more pleasant to walk on them than on asphalt. Be sure to visit Archangelsk port - the oldest in the country. Even before St. Petersburg Arkhangelsk was a window of Russia to Europe. Visit Peter the Great on the Northern Dvina embankment - this monument is depicted on a 500-ruble bill. Finally look at Solombala Island - the most picturesque area of old Arkhangelsk.
The most souvenirs can be bought in the museum-workshop "Arkhangelsk Gingerbread" - it is located in the city center. Goats - or baked dough figures decorated with burnt sugar - are the symbol and protection of Pomorie. It is believed that they protect the house from evil spirits.
It's lunchtime! I invite you to the restaurant "Pomorsky" - to continue getting acquainted with local cuisine. Here you can order boiled Pomor ear made of sterlet and eat pancakes with salmon, try three kinds of kulebyaka with fragrant Arkhangelsk chest. The institution's crown dish is "a dish made of Pomorska cod with overseas crabs".
The Little Korela Museum has collected dozens of monuments of wooden architecture in the open air. Churches, chapels, peasant manors, mills are witnesses of the life of Pomors in XVI - early XX centuries. You can walk around the museum for a long time: you want to see every hut and every barn endlessly. * Some sites have museums - they are open until 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm (some things close on weekends). Entrance - only 200 rubles. *
Let's expand the theme of the trip with Latin notes! We go to Argentinean restaurant "El Fuego", where they cook on "live" coal in the open kitchen right in the guest room. The restaurant specializes in preparation of steaks and dishes from fish.
Let's drop by the best jazz bar in Arkhangelsk for an hour. The "Jazz Workshop" is located in the Gostiny Dvor building. It is an incredibly atmospheric place with good acoustics and professional musicians, led by the famous Arkhangelsk musician Tim Dorofeev. If you have had a bad experience visiting jazz concerts, make sure you come here: "Jazz Workshop" will fix everything.
In the morning we will go for a water walk - we will ride on the waves of the White Sea, try to catch a cod or herring on the fishing rod. Then we'll study Severodvinsk. This is a young city - it was founded in 1936. Severodvinsk played a major role during the Great Patriotic War: here were brought the cargoes of the allied countries on the Land-Lease. After the war, the city became the main Soviet center for the production of submarines and began to develop rapidly. We will spend the evening beautifully: on the lake shore, in a real Russian steam room, drinking tea from a samovar.
In Severodvinsk there are several companies that organize water walks - their contacts are easy to find on the Internet. The yachts start from Yagra Island (you can get there by road bridge), follow narrow channels, along the Nikolsky branch of the Northern Dvina into the White Sea. As a rule, there is a stop on one of the islands in the sea. During the excursion you can go fishing, and in warm weather to swim in the clean sea.
We will have lunch at Chaplin Restaurant, located on the island of Jagra. The undoubted advantage of the restaurant is a magnificent view of the sea from the windows and a good interior. In the daytime you can order a complex lunch.
In the afternoon, take a walk on Jagra Island. This place has a curious story. In the middle of the XVI century the only surviving ship of the English expedition moored here. The sailors who came ashore marveled at the beauty of the island: it was "full of scarlet and red roses (rosehip), violets and wild rosemary". According to the monument on the island, the captain of the same ship started trade relations between Russia and England. Part of the island occupies a wide beach and a thick pine forest: it is a wonderful place to relax and admire the White Sea. And behind a public beach there is a series of memorials devoted to the siege of Leningrad, the liquidators of the Chernobyl disaster, the victims of the submarine "Kursk" and all the soldiers who died.
In Severodvinsk we will visit the local history museum first thing. There are paintings by local artists, there is a good exposition about the life of the Pomors. The most interesting part of the museum sheds light on the construction of submarines. On the example of a huge layout of the submarine in the section you can study all the compartments and learn a lot of interesting things about building ships. The museum is small, so in 45 minutes you'll be fine. The cashier's office (http://musey29.ru/) is open until 16:30, the museum closes at 17:00. Weekends are Sunday and Monday as well as the first Friday of the month. The first and third Wednesdays of the month are from 13:00 to 20:00.
Let's take a walk around town. Start your tour from Victory Square, circling the city center. Get to Nikolo-Korelsky monastery: the temple with yellow and blue domes appeared here long before the foundation of the city, at the end of XIV century. This is one of the oldest monasteries in the Russian North.
We'll stop by the supermarket for groceries. There's a barbecue at the base we're going to, where you can fry meat or fish. What could be better than dinner in the wild!
In the cold climate of the Russian North the bathhouse was an obligatory element of the residential complex. As a rule, it was built outside the manor, usually on the bank of a water body. Just like here, at the recreation center in Bory. What a pleasure it is to dive straight from the steam room into the cool water of the lake! Also here you can rent a boat, fish (if you catch trout or carp - you will have to pay), drink tea from a real Russian samovar. The visit should be arranged in advance: there are only 4 bathhouses on the territory.
In the morning we will go to the village Kholmogory - once the main city of the whole Dvinsk region. From there we will take a ferry (which is an adventure in itself!) to the village of Lomonosovo - the birthplace of the famous scientist and the center of bone carving. After that we start our way back home - we'll spend the night in Kargopol.
Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov was born in the vicinity of Kholmogor. The village of Mishaninskaya was later named after him - now it is Lomonosov. In the 40s in the village there was opened a historical and memorial museum dedicated to the great scientist. The museum is open every day except Monday. Applications for excursions are accepted in advance. And Lomonosov has dozens of boneheaded families in several generations. The filigree works of local craftsmen are a snowy, melting fairy tale. Kholmogorsk bone carving is known all over the country - thanks to talented craftsmen the craft continues to live and flourish. * You can take the ferry to [museum](http://museum.lomic.ru/) * in Lomonosov. It leaves daily at 9:30 from the pier "Bus Station" (near Naberezhnaya street, 48). The crossing takes 10-15 minutes. To find out the ferry schedule, please, call 8 (818-30) 37-0-06.
We'll have lunch at the Wanderer of Veles cafe near the Lomonosov Museum. There is a cozy room with a Russian stove and a guest room at the guests' disposal. Despite its location and popularity, the prices here are simply ridiculous.
We return by ferry, which leaves at 13:30 from the other bank, to Kholmogory. In pre-Peter time it was the main city of Dvinsk land and one of the centers of Russian icon painting. It was here that the first Russian factory and the first Russian quarter, where foreigners settled, appeared. According to unofficial reports, the tomb of deposed Emperor John VI is also located here. Today there are 4 thousand people living in Kholmogory. Houses here are mostly wooden, temples have been standing for many centuries. The Old Dormition Monastery, the Bishops' Chambers (1689) and the Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral (1691) are the main value of the village.
We'll make a short stop at a roadside cafe. A cup of coffee and a hearty cake will not hurt a tired traveler.
We'll stop by the village of Obozersky for a little while. The Northern Railway passes through it. At the station you can see the monument in honor of 40 thousandth kilometer of electrification of railways in the Soviet Union. It is noteworthy that the next section of the railway to Arkhangelsk is not electrified, so electric locomotives here have to be replaced by diesel locomotives.
You can have dinner in Plesetsk, at the cafe "U Vadimych". This is one of the few cafes in town that works late.
It is advisable to leave at 6:30 a.m. in order to have time to visit the beautiful places on the way and deliver the car on time. In the main Vytegra museum we will try on the role of a submariner in a real submarine. Then we'll admire the Svirya River - it originates in Lake Onega and flows into Ladoga. For dinner we'll have a look at a good farm restaurant where we'll taste dumplings with bears and other exotic dishes of Russian cuisine.
We will go to the shore of Vytegorskoye reservoir. Here is a unique museum "Submarine B-440". - it's based on a real submarine that made its last hike in 2005. Walking through the ship's compartments, you can easily imagine the life and combat routine of sailors and submariners. Everything in the museum can be touched with your hands - try to lie down on the bunk, study the device of the latrine, look at the diving suit for deep water work. Those who wish can go up to the deckhouse or on the deck of the ship. *In summer, the museum is open every day from 9:00 a.m., autumn and spring weekends on Sunday and Monday. Ticket to all compartments of the boat without excursion costs 260 rubles.
We'll stop for lunch at the already familiar Watergate restaurant. Just do not order complicated dishes: they will be cooked for too long, and there are still several hours to go.
We're going to take a break on the bank of the Svir River. Here, in the village of Svirstroy a couple of years ago built a modern pier for cruise ships. Near the pier you can see the monument to Russian revolutionary Sergey Mironovich Kirov. The monument commemorates the fact that Kirov came here before the construction of the hydroelectric power plant on Sviri.
For an early dinner, we'll stop by the village farmer's restaurant. It can be praised for its cute interior, which is dominated by natural wood. Arbours with benches in the open air, a pond - that's another couple of arguments for this place. The menu includes a lot of interesting dishes: dumplings and cutlets from bear meat, meatballs from moose, boar chop. Drink with compote or a morsel of cowberry collected in the surrounding forests.
Let's go stretch our bones to the Cote d'Azur. Many residents of St. Petersburg liked this place for picnics and rest by the water.