Driving Russia's Golden Ring

Despite the aggrevation of Russia's roads,  a road trip around the country's Golden Ring, "a circuit of about 10 ancient towns northeast of Moscow, each with its own set of glittering onion-domed churches and medieval fortresses," can be rewarding. Freelance writer iand a former Moscow correspondent for The New York Times, Celestine Bohlen, discusses her recent trip.

Bohlen writes:

It’s a region known for its bewildering number of churches, convents and monasteries. After St. Sergius founded his monastery at Sergiyev Posad around 1340, other hermit monks followed his example and headed north, seeking salvation in nature, building an astonishing 150 monasteries in just 100 years. Backed by the power of the Moscovite princes, this extraordinary missionary movement was to become a key force in the unification of Russia.