Here’s how it happens sometimes: you think that a trip will be boring and uninteresting, yet it becomes on of the most vivid and memorable in your life. It was like this with Pskov. The idea to go there came into my husband’s mind and then he talked about it for more than three years, so I finally gave up and said “Ok, let’s go”. Though in the depth of my heart I still thought that it is a weird fancy, so when we got stuck at the customs area for more than three hours, I didn’t fail to pique : “You see, I told you!…” However, when we finally arrived to Pskov, I was ready to take my words back.
So, a few words about this city. Located on the border with Estonia, it is the westernmost picket and one of the oldest cities in Russia. Because of that Pskov was always a target for various conquerors. This has greatly influenced its look and character: architectural monuments here are mainly fortresses and churches, while people are persistent, die-hard but at the same time peace-loving (under the constant threat of invasions you start to appreciate peacetime). Pskov capitulated only once – during the World War Two. Back then, under the pressure of German troops, people were forced to leave it, while many were taken as prisoners. Nazi have organised seven (!) concentration camps on the territory of Pskov and when three years later the city was liberated there were only 146 people who survived.
Today Pskov amazed me with its peacefulness and serenity. It seems that nobody is in a rush here. And under the shade of ancient walls of Kremlin you feel like time has stopped forever, as if these walls whisper to you: “This too will pass….”
Where to stay. We have stayed in the “Podznoev Dvor” hotel and were absolutely happy with it: everything, the service, the rooms, the food was on the excellent level and, which is very pleasant, at a very affordable price. By the way the hotel was reconstructed from the old merchant house, so you will have the chance to plunge into the atmosphere of the ancient Russia.
What to see. Of course number one and not to be missed is the ancient Kremlin. Apart from that, visit the museum of Pskov, Pskov-Caves Monastery and Izborsk Reserve (the last one we actually enjoyed the most).
Where to eat. Restaurants of Podznoev Dvor offer authentic Russian cuisine and wonderful service. While being in Izborsk, visit the local pancake-house – you will totally love it!