Next, and second in the history of our cooperation expedition of the
Montana State University teachers and students to Russia took place in July 2005. Much
more experienced than before, our American friends used the
possibilities of civilization before we carry off them to "wild Russia".
Dressed in their best suits we visited "Bolshoy Theatre" - one of the famous
places among all foreign tourists in Moscow.
Being a few days in Moscow our friends visited not only cultural and
social objects, but also studied local nature and visited our specific
"environmental" places of interest. The picture on the left shows the excursion
to the Moscow State University Botanical Garden, where our friend Lazareva Nadejda works
as a guide.
But finally all of us moved to the "real life".
This time we joined the expedition of Moscow city school travel-club
Making 100-miles steps every summer these kids travel along Volga river by boats,
investigating local nature, culture and history of local towns and villages.
We overtook them near town of Jiguli, in the "Samarskaya Luka" National Park.
The picture on the right shows all our Russian-American expedition on the bold top of
Jiguli mountains, over the vast expanses of the Volga-river.
"Zuid-West Club" itself is very specific type of institution, it
is mostly "type of life". There are around 80 kids in the Club, 11-16 years old.
They study ecology, history and "travel-science" during all round the year, and
spend the summer in three different expeditions: for beginners, for middle level and for
experienced travelers, from two to four weeks each. All these expeditions take place on
the Volga - close of far from Moscow, with 20-50 kids in each.
We spent one week with Russian kids on the bank of the Volga-river. We
visited local forests and mountains, National park "Samarskaya Luka" and
"Jiguli" nature reserve. One day we spent in the Bolshaya Ryazan village, where
local people show us Russian native dances and folk songs (picture on the right).
One week on the Volga banks with Russian kids passed quickly...
July 27, as always at this day, "Big Volga" expedition closed by
"last-night" camp-fire, where everybody singed songs, acted in the performances,
eat and walk around until the morning.
Next day the main part of the expeditions went to the train, to be at home
on the next day. At the same time we went to the cruise ship, that brought us to Moscow
after 5 days aboard.
This trip was long and full of emotions. We saw how Russian people can spend their free
time and at the end of the trip we have a few new friends. To the end of the trip a lot of
Russian people on the boat even remembered their English school lessons !