two hours’ free time in Uglich

two hours’ free time in Uglich

[ Aug.2017 ] Our tour in Uglich in Russia finished in the Kremlin and we had some free time.

On the spot where our group dissolved, there were photo service huts that let you wear their costumes, so we went there first.

We became the czar and the czarina wearing the quiet coloured costumes and they took many photos of us at the staircase of the quaint Place of Princes.

We often use this kind of services when we are on holiday, so we have many photos of us at home wearing local costumes from all over the world.

The Kremlin in Uglich was not only a destination for foreigners like us, but for Russian tourists, too and the costume photo booths were thriving with the local tourists.

On the other hand, none of our British group members showed any interest at all.

I wonder what the main reason for this difference of the national character…

Although Uglich seemed a small town, we had as long as two hours’ free time, the longest among our ports of call.

We felt lost a bit because they did not give us a map.

We headed for a small shopping centre in a square just out of Kremlin.

There we found a row of watch shops.

Uglich in fact has been famous for its watch factory since Soviet era.

The factory started production in the 1930s and in 1960s, their name changed to Chaika Watch Factory after the call sign of Valentina Tereshkova, the first female astronaut in the world, Ya Chaika (I am a sea gull).

And apparently it exported their watches to many countries.

After the Soviet Union collapsed, the company kept going for a while, but in 2009 it was officially bankrupted.

But as I said, there are still many watch shops and I do not know why.

Maybe some people are still running the factory frugally with a different name.

All those years ago, when I had a short holiday in Moscow during Soviet times, I seem to remember buying a watch for my memory.

That was the time of Gorbachov’s Perestroika and the black face of the watch had the red writing of Perestroika in Cyrillic alphabet instead of the numbers and I wonder if it was made in Uglich…

Anyway, a watch is another thing I like, so I bought one here, too.

When I bought it, I understood that batteries are not needed for this watch, but at home when I tried to wind it, it did not start, so I suspected that they sold me a fake (I am not good at reading instructions even in my language, let alone in Russian).

But in the end I found the way to wind it and it works perfectly, so at the moment it is my favourite.

After the shopping, we still had a plenty of time, so we just walked aimlessly and came across a shabby market.

They were selling some gorgeous garlic, but the gorgeous thing was only that and the rest gave me a poor impression.

For example, the meat was sold on a stand carelessly as it was and the plastic artificial flowers which we do not see in the West seemed important things there.

Not many people were there and it was not lively at all.

Afterwards on the boat, when we had lunch with another couple from our tour, they were saying that they had a similar experience when they got into a supermarket there.

I suppose the reason why we had two hours’ free time in Uglich is something to do with the sailing schedule, but spending a long time here made us feel sorry for Russia.

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