The real Adventure starts on the ice. I got engaged in the scouting club of the lycey in Novgorod named “Utka”, the little duck. Every winter they planned a skiing-trip on the very beautiful lake Ilmen which could be reached by the river Volkhov, which passed by our lycey The Ilmen is surrounded by a dozen beautiful monasteries and is one of the prettiest hotspots I have seen so far.
It all started in Novgorod. It is the oldest Russian city founded in 859 A.D., at a time were Lithuanian tribes ruled the Slavic territories. There was no Russian Kingdom and no superpower in sight. It is situated 190 km south of St.Petersburg and as the base of the Russian nation it was given the title “Veliky”, which means “the great”. And this is how you can separate Veliky Novgorod from the South-Siberian Nischnji Novgorod!!