Our guide told us that of all the people who visit the Golden Ring fewer than 1% of them are foreign tourists. We mad an effort to see the real Russian country side and get a feel of the Russian spiritualism and the basis of religion. Rostov is one of the towns that forms part of the Golden Ring and the Russian orthodox churches that are dotted around are a sight to see. Unlike Moscow and St Petersburg, the crowds did not exist and we could spend as much time as we needed. Do make an effort to do the Golden Ring tour of a few days. There wasn't anywhere on this trip we felt unsafe or threatened. Language at best of times in Moscow is a problem but even more so in the Russian countryside. It is good to have an English speaking guide with you.
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