***My favourite thing number 2***
I always say that I love Northern Russian nature. I do not admire cold, but I appreciate the landscapes very much. They are usually pretty flat and offer spectacular far-reaching vistas. In fact, Pskov, Novgorod, and their surroundings (among which we naturally count Izborsk, too) offer the best such things I have ever seen in my home country. The Republic of Karelya (also a place I have been to in Northern Russia) is a bit different… But I am dealing with Izborsk right now. Actually, because the countryside is flat, you can see all the perfect lines nature created not only in winter (when they are not crowded out by lush greenery in many places) but also during the summer season.
Other highlights include a surprising set of waterfalls (never knew they were there before I arrived on the spot) called Slavic Springs - the ones in the picture with this tip - and views from the top of the Izborsk fortress.
My single favourite thing is the fortress. Just fancy seeing one of those 'real' fortresses here in Russia - we mostly had convents playing the role of defenses. While they are interesting in their own right, it would have been a pity not to have a single fortress on the territory of such a huge country. But we have at least one - and that is in Izborsk.
It is now part standing fortress, part picturesque ruins, and both are fun. Fancy climbing the walls and actually walking atop of them! Or trying to find some secret passages! Wow! Yes, sometimes I am a bit of an adventurer:)))
For more history, you can see my tip on the fortress in 'Must See' section. This one is more along the lines of a personal impression.