Ready for some picturesque shots? good! there is a LOT of them in this post!This summer we made a visit to one of Russia's oldest cities. Actually it's name, Novgorod, or Velikii Novgorod, means New City or Great New City. It was only established around 862 or so... You can read all the details here.I remember fondly my first visit there in 1991, that was the first time I went back to visit the former USSR. It was just as perestroika was happening and the country was becoming more open. There was something very intimate and warm about the city, especially in and around the Kremlin. That's the oldest part of the city, essentially where it began. Of course the city is filled with churches, monasteries and open air museums.Novgorod has had a somewhat of a rebirth recently in the celebration of it's 1150 anniversary, it was freshly painted and there where signs everywhere calling Novgorod the Motherland of all Russia. Although I loved that some churches were not fully restored and some parts were left as they had been for ages.I just enjoyed walking around with my family, drinking in the beautiful ancient sites. You can literally feel the energy of the past as you walk around... or at least I did... maybe partly because the calming feeling of Russian Orthodoxy is so strong, every other church is an important religious site, and the faithful make pilgrimages here.We had very dramatic weather while in Novgorod, a very stormy day with thunderstorms was followed by a day with stunning blue skies and perfect fluffy clouds. What more could a camera happy gal like me ask for?