Part 1. the Oka river Prioka Sanatorium Spring

I've never liked touristy spots, where they are packed like sardines loafing about without even truly enjoying themselves. The problem of such places is their lack of uniqueness. Bar-hopping isn't so different in any country as well as staying on the beach all day long.

The Oka River is one of the most beautiful places I've seen. I'd been to Sri Lanka, Switzerland before I went to the Oka. And when I saw the scenery I was stunned.
The Oka River bank,  the Prioka Sanatorium is on the hill in the forest you see

We stayed at the Prioka Sanatorium. It is on the bank of the Oka. The sanatorium is rather far from Moscow (4-5 hour ride by car).  The nearest town is Kasimov.

Staying at Russian sanatoriums is better than staying at hotels for several reasons.

First, guests there are old quiet people or families and there's less opportunity you encounter someone noisy and obtrusive.

Second, 3 or 4 meals a day are usually included in a reasonable receipt.  In the Prioka Sanatorium the price per day is about  50 dollars in low season (food included). Compared to Moscow prices, it is cheap.

Third, apart from meals  some treatment is also included, and if you wish you can undergo specific extra treatment . For that extra treatment you'll be charged.

Finally, there's a cafe detached to the canteen, surprisingly cheap. We used to order several apple pies in a row at 2 dollars per cake (compare the same type of cake at 8-10 dollars in Moscow). We acted on principle: eating ten cheap cakes is better than an expensive one.

There are 2 blocks - a brick-built new one and another one, which is cheaper and it is a historic building more than a hundred years old, a two-floored log house with several not very big rooms,  belonged to a landowner before the Revolution of 1917.  So you've got a chance to actually live in a former country-estate's (usad'ba / усадьба) owner's house.

I would advise you to go for a newer corpus: standard double rooms there are spacious and clean.  However, wherever you stay in Prioka, you'll wake up to the singing and chirping of birds inevitably.

 The stray dog turned out to be very intelligent and quick on the uptake. During the trip  he accompanied us and even found a hedgehog.

Breath-taking, isn't it? 

the buildings you see opposite are some of the sanatorium
sauna or something.... not residential ones
the residential ones are closer to the river, on the left in the trees
the road downwards is to the Oka

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