The Trans Siberian railway bypassed the town in favour of Vladimir, 35 km to the south. Thus was Suzdal bypassed not oly by trains, but by the 20th century, all at the stroke of a Railway planner's pen. Now it is but a lazy backwater, where a river runs past the 30 churches, 5 monasteries and countless cute wooden houses.
Suzdal doesn't seem to mind. The 10,000 denizens welcome tourists, who buy cucumbers and mead from the stalls and shops in the sleepy streets, or set up their easels by the river to paint watercolours of flower stewn meadows overlooked by the onion domes of the many churches.