After leaving Valaam by boat, we arrived back at the shores of Lake Ladoga. From there we drove south to the port for Konevets, one of the largest islands on the lake and home to the Konevsky Monastery, which was part of the two night tour. Here are the photos:
There was a multiple hour delay in boarding the boat for the 5km crossing. This allowed me plenty of time to practice my broken Russian and to crack the ice with the Russkies. Some of the party stayed outside during this time...
...while others huddled inside, making tea and such.
The sign actually has English on it as well as Russian.
This was quite a different ferry than I was used to.
Time as I knew it was meaningless this far north. The sun wouldn't fully set at all.
First glimpse of the cathedral on Konevets.
The entrance to the monastery.
Religious artwork in the hallway connecting parts of the monastery.
There was a construction project that was ongoing, and we were invited to sign our names on the bricks. Mine is on top, in Cyrillic and English (note that I put "USA" in Cyrillic).
The grounds of the monastery.
I believe this was the guest house.
Note the lightness of the sky.
Now note the time. White nights, as they're called, are incredible.
Sunday morning liturgy (I made a mistake in my last post on Valaam - that was Saturday).
Our tour group convened for a pow wow... I got a brief translation (I was grateful for any English).
To the best of my memory, this was the upstairs of the giant cathedral (liturgy was in the renovated downstairs), and it was in desperate need of restoration. It was still elegant despite its age (it was built around 1800, though the monastery dates back to the end of the 14th century).
We were greeted by chanters (I don't think they were actually monks, judging by their dress), who sang for us.
It was quite good...
...though you'll have to take my word for it. :-)
Outside, it was time for a walk down the path to chapels in the woods.
A Soviet monument to their time on the island during WWII.
This chapel was interestingly located (see below).
The cathedral is really a sight to behold.
The chapel from above is situated at a fork in the road. I think every fork in the road should have a chapel handy! ;-)
Inside the chapel.
Another building elsewhere.
Following our tour, it was time for a brief meal before departing all the way back to St. Petersburg.
Konevets was an unexpected but delightful excursion. Recommended, if you have the time.
Coming up next = Moscow. Stay tuned.