GOLDEN RING of Russia - Travel Guide, Part 2Written by TravelMake.com
Sergiev Posad (founded in 1345, population 115,000) - spiritual center of Russia, residence of Patriarch of Russian Orthodox Church, where remains of first national saint, Sergei Radonezh, rests. In heart of Sergiev Posad is a well-preserved splendid architectural ensemble of over 50 historical buildings, as well as magnificent art collections including old Russian painting and treasures in vaults of former Trinity Monastery.
Suzdal (founded in 1024, population 12,000) - this little quiet town is a real gem, one of most beautiful in Golden Ring collection of citeis and towns. In 11th century Suzdal became very first forepost of Christianity in North-Eastern Russia and significantly affected religious life in Russia until end of 19 century. The town was destroyed by Mongols in 1238. Later Suzdal became capital city of Russian prince Yury Dolgoruky who is considered to be founder of Moscow. The second destruction of town came with Polish invasion in 17th century. Here you can find over 100 church and secular buildings dating from mid-12th to mid-19th century crowded into a area of 9 square km.
Tutaev (founded in 1283, population 45,000) - is an old little town sprawling on both banks of Volga river. Tutaev (formerly known as Romanovo-Borisoglebsk) is divided by Volga river into two parts. The former town Romanov is located on left high bank of river, former town Borisoglebsk is on right sloping one. Romanov was called after Russian prince Roman of Uglich who was founder of this town, Borisoglebsk got its name in connection with Church of St. Boris and St. Gleb erected there in 15th century. The towns were united under new name Romanovo-Borisoglebsk in 1822. In 1918 town's name was changed to Tutaev in honour of Red Army hero who was killed during Civil war .
Uglich (founded in 937, population 38,000) - town was built on a major trade route. In its history Uglich has survived destruction by Mongols and lived through devastation of fires and plagues. Uglich is famous for Russia's darkest secret - death of young Prince Dimitri, son of Ivan Terrible who is often called Tsarevich (a heir to throne) Dmitry. The Tsarevich, a sickly boy, was last of Rurik dynasty. While playing with a knife in yard he stabbed himself by accident or was stabbed by an assassin allegedly sent by Boris Godunov, his competitor for throne. The center of town also is a historical and architectural landmark. The streets are wide, with various churches standing side by side along road. These churches vary in size and have domes and belfries of different shapes and designs, all of which add to charm of this small town. Uglich is known in Russia for simple-designed and reliable watches. The local factory, which makes beautiful women's watches decorated with special "Finift" paintings on porcelain which are incorporated into bands of watches.
Vladimir (founded in 1108, population 400,000) - one of oldest Russian cities, was founded by Russian Prince Vladimir Monomakh on banks of Kliazma river. The city really blossomed in 12th century during reign of Prince Andrey Bogolubsky, who strengthened its defences, welcomed architects, icon-painters, jewellers from other countries, built new palaces and churches so magnificent that travelers compaired them with ones in "mother of all Russian cities"- Kiev. Until middle of 14th century city had been an administrative, cultural and religious center for North-Eastern Russia. During Mongol invasion in 13th century Vladimir was beseiged, looted and almost totally destroyed. Presently city is a capital of Vladimir province.
Yaroslavl (founded in 1010, population 600,000 ) - as legend goes it was founded by famous Russian prince Yaroslav Wise as a fortified settlement on Volga river. After a huge fire of 1658 that turned most of city into ruins, Jaroslavl was rebuilt in stone and reached peak of its architectural development with palaces and churches richly decorated with beautiful frescoes and ornaments thus earning title "Florence of Russia". The first Russian professional theater was established here by Volkov in 1750. Since 18th century Jaroslavl has been an important industrial center. Today it is a quiet metropolitan city, one of Russia's largest regional centres, a capital of Jaroslav province and one of most beautiful cities of old Russia.
Nova Scotia: Cheap Living and Retirement in Canada's Hidden ParadiseWritten by Phillip Townsend
A beautiful and inexpensive place in North America where oceanfront and lakeside lots can be had for as little as $10,000 (or a charming 3-bedroom home on several acres can be yours for under $50,000). Sound like a dream? It's not. This slice of Heaven does exist. Nestled in North Atlantic on Canada's east coast, Nova Scotia is a little-known paradise steeped in Scottish, Irish and English history. For potential expatriate or retiree, Nova Scotia has a lot to offer...cheap real estate, a low cost of living, unspoiled natural environment, friendly people and lifestyle opportunities to suit virtually every taste. Coastal property prices are among lowest in North America and with local government rolling out red carpet to newcomers, it has potential to become North America’s next great retirement haven.
Nova Scotia has long been a favorite escape for savvy Canadians and Europeans, yet few Americans live or retire in this secretive outpost. Why? Well, perhaps it's because Nova Scotia isn't a destination you stumble across by accident. Almost completely surrounded by water, it lies hidden between Atlantic Ocean, Bay of Fundy, Northumberland Strait, and Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Canada’s second-smallest province (21,425 square miles), Nova Scotia is about half size of Pennsylvania with a population of just under 1 million people. Its craggy 4,600-mile coastline is dotted with quaint fishing villages, lighthouses and working seaports. Over 3,800 islands lie off its shores (some are for sale); largest being Cape Breton, which is nearly a quarter size of mainland Nova Scotia. Most of Nova Scotia’s population is concentrated along coast. The largest city is capital, Halifax, in which about 40% of province’s population lives (much of interior is heavily forested and sparsely populated). The area's most famous part-time residents are Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Roger Moore, and Alan Arkin, all of whom have summer homes here.
Live Good Life...stress free Nova Scotia is one of those places that can seduce you through its sheer natural beauty. The seemingly endless stretches of picturesque coastline, a lush green countryside, beautiful colors of autumn, and friendliness of its people, make it one of most livable places in North America. Nova Scotia has a bit of something for everyone: old-world European architecture, everything is close to water, New England-style charm, great restaurants and leisure opportunities, and slow-paced towns that haven't changed much since 19th Century, where fishing and enjoying outdoors is a way of life. The climate is another plus. Summer temperatures range from mid 60s to low 80s, with winters being much milder (with less snow) that you'd expect to see north of border. Like United States, Canada has a fully democratic system that respects individual rights and freedoms. In fact, Canada has some of strictest personal and financial privacy laws in world.