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July 18, 2002

Most of us were asleep but around midnight we entered the Rybinsk Reservoir, a massive flood basin covering the natural beds of many different rivers and a couple of hours later passed through Rybinsk Lock, the largest and the deepest on our journey - 54 feet deep.

On our morning rise we found ourselves sailing along a picturesque area that included the city of Yaroslavl and a number of small villages scattered on the banks of the Volga river.

At mid-morning we were invited to have some pastries and a taste of Russian Tea from an old samovar. We learned some of the traditions of a Russian tea-drinking ceremony and then it was time to check out some more churches.

After lunch we arrived at the city of Kostroma famous for flax products, table cloths, sheets, embroidered napkins, hand towels and tapestry. Highlights of our bus tour included the old Russian Classical City Trade Center preserved in its original layout, the famous lpatyev Monastery. founded in the 14th century, a visit to a nunnery, a variety of heritage architecture and more. Before we returned to the ship we went to the park to shake hands with Lenin. That man sure gets around.

In the early evening, aboard ship, there was a concert of ballroom dancing performed by a Kostroma dancing group. Later, as the sun set we said goodby to Kostroma and started sailing back up the Volga River.

Hey, this doesn't look like tea.

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