Goritsy was the smallest town along the waterway that we visited although it too had become commercialized with many souvenir vendors near the dock. The main part of the town, however, remained much as it had been for years. There were dirt streets, small houses in various stages of upkeep and people what they do everyday in a small town.
The family that lives in this bright yellow house invite tourists in to see what a small Russian house looks like. They serve tea and pastries and answer questions.
The woman in this photo was our hostess, the young lady was her grand daughter who seemed very excited about meeting a group of American tourists. The family apparently was better off than some others in the community. It had a separate wash house, a tractor and a large garden and, of course, a television.
For a small town, Goritsy had a variety of stores, centered around the bus stop which seemed to be the gathering place to wait or to visit. There was a general store, a grocery store and what appeared to be the Russian version of the American convenience store.
There had at one time been a thriving monastery in the town but it had fallen into disarray. Work is currently going on to restore the beauty of the monastery. It was in this monastery complex that a Russian, who said he had served in the army, kept calling "bita, bita" and motioning into his house. We later found out that he had a sick friend there was was seeking money for him.
Small town Russians grow much of their food. The large, well-kept gardens provide supplies of favorite foods: potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and other vegetables. Some residents have their own gardens but there are also community garden projects.
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