Published: October 4th 2007October 1st 2007
For those to au fait with Cyrillic; this is Hotel Sevastopol
We got up rather reluctantly for breakfast but were rather pleasantly surprised. We got a Knopper, yoghurt, bread and cheese, a normal green salad and fried eggs with bacon. Almost a normal breakfast.
We trekked down to the bus station which was rather arduous due to the heat and lack of shade. When we got there we found a bus that was ready to leave for Yalta so we hopped on. The journey was rather good for views of the coast line. We attempted to get photos, but we were moving too fast. Every time we saw a town we thought it would be Yalta but we kept on driving past them.
Yalta had a few first impressions. Initially we were overwhelmed by the mountains that dominated the skyline. Secondly it was rather intimidating because we were bombarded by people shouting their services at us loudly in Ukrainian. Not only were there hundreds of taxi drivers trying to get our attention but bus drivers, old women offering accommodation and bums asking for money and cigarettes. Once we had a few minutes to ourselves we gathered that we needed to get a trolleybus into the centre. I really don't understand
why places don't have train/bus stations in the centre it is rather irritating. Arriving at a station that is situated outside of the city is annoying because then you need to get another bus/train into the actual centre. Surely if a bus says it is going to Yalta it should actually go to Yalta rather than 3km from the centre of Yalta. On the bus a man behind us was rather concerned about either the marks on my shoulder from carrying my backpack or my sunburn. Either way he was lovely and a much nicer introduction to Yalta than we had to Sevastopol. When we reached the stop for the centre the driver of the bus actually came and told of us we should get off which was rather good considering how frequently we miss the correct stops.
Hotel Otdikh was rather difficult to find. We walked around for a considerable amount of time getting rather tetchy until someone told us where to go. The hotel is cheap but slightly worse for wear. Unusually for us we decided to go out and explore rather than go to bed. We walked all the way down the front promenade which was
packed. Everywhere you walk you get accosted by men with an array of animals such as monkeys, crocodiles and chinchillas. Rob got caught by a guy with an Eagle and really struggled to tell him that he didn't want a picture however he did get to hold the eagle the entire conversation though which was pretty cool. We could have continued walking much further than we did but the sun set and it was too cold for shorts and sandals.
We set out in search of a restaurant with one vegetarian meal. You wouldn't believe the number of restaurants that only do meat and fish dishes. We walked along to this restaurant we had seen earlier which I had tried to avoid but I'm sure Rob secretly wanted to go to. It is a restaurant on a galley called The Golden Fleece that is raised above the water like a pier. The menu had a veggie option so we stayed. We both learned from previous meals in the Ukraine and ordered side dishes as well. In the Ukraine you order your main meal like the meat and then you order the veg/potatoes/salad separately. Both meals were on the small
Beauty of the Crimea
Picture taken from the bus!
side but rather nice. The wine Needs a special mention. It was foul. We'd asked for a white but we got a brown coloured liquid. Rob was convinced that we'd received a bottle of sherry but neither of us knew. The percentage of it did seem to be too high for normal wine though. I think this is the only time in my life I have struggled to finish a bottle of wine.
We took our half bottle of wine and sat on a bench right next to the sea. We sat for a couple of hours chatting, watching the waves crash over the side and forcing ourselves to finish the bottle. It was warm enough to sit there till after midnight when we started to get a bit chilly. Luckily the hotel receptionist was still up when we got back so we didn't feel like naughty children creeping back home like we have in some places.
There are more photos below