The Svir river, which links the Ladoga and Onega lakes, is part of the famous, ancient route “from the Vikings to the Greeks”. Novgorod lods have passed through here, following Viking drakkars and even the curved sails of traders from the Arabian East. Even today, for the people living along its banks, the river remains the most important transportation link. Cruise liners and private yachts have been mooring at the village ports for more than a decade.
The people of the village know how to feed their river guests, and entertain them with song. Three specially-fitted docks can receive eight tourist liners simultaneously.
The verandahs are large enough to seat a thousand guests for a picnic. To make sure that none leave hungry, there are fireplaces for cooking whole animals over an open flame, colossal pans, and a surplus of barbeque pits and skewers. The picnics are served by a team of friendly, bustling waitresses.
Within 17 years of the village’s existence many interesting and famous people have been here. Surely the most notable guest is Vladimir Putin who made two informal calls to Upper Mandrogi. V. Putin visited the Vodka Museum, Fairy Tale’s Path, Craft village and our stable. In the windows of the Handicraft settlement people can see a clay pot made by Putin on a throwing wheel, a bird of happiness and Matryoshka painted by him.