Blogs from Krim, Ukraine, Europe


Europe » Ukraine » Krim » Yalta November 8th 2013

The crossing from Russia into Ukraine was pretty smooth, although the Russian guard got out a magnifying glass to look at my passport and asked me questions about my visas for other countries. As soon as the Ukrainian guards had done their thing (and the cutest sniffer spaniel had done his), a man went up and down the train exchanging Russian roubles into Ukrainian hryvnia, one was selling Ukrainian SIM cards, and a woman went down selling honey and jam. I managed to sleep pretty soundly despite the fact that I was on the top bunk, without anything to stop me rolling off whenever the train slammed the breaks on, and wondering whether or not the evolutionary traits that kept my ancestors in the trees have survived in me. The train journey felt very long. I ... read more
Heading up the Hill in Yalta
The Black Sea
Church in the Centre of Simferopol

Europe » Ukraine » Krim June 27th 2012

Train stations in former Soviet countries are not the sort of place you would want to subject children to for aтy longer than absolutely essential. Nevertheless, every available inch of seating at Kiev station is taken up by families who, according to tradition, have arrived many hours before their departure time and sit there meekly doing nothing while they await their train. The waiting hall is an enormous, high-ceilinged cavern of a room but only a small proportion of its floor has been installed with seats, which are super-densely packed together and leave those early-arriving families clumped together like a blob on one side while the rest of the room remains empty. Those without sufficient foresight, or who simply cannot be bothered, to arrive hours before their train are left to explore the station’s array of ... read more
Girl playing by fountain, Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine
Kersones, the remains of a 2,500-year old town in Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine
Kersones, the remains of a 2,500-year old town in Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine

Europe » Ukraine » Krim » Yalta November 17th 2010

The Crimean Mountains represent a range of mountains running parallel to the south coast of Crimea. Toward the west, the mountains drop steeply to the Black Sea, and to the east, they transform into a steppe landscape. Crimean Mountains consist of three subranges. The highest is the Main range. Main range is subdivided into several massifs, known as yaylas or mountain plateaus (Yayla is Crimean Tatar word for “Alpine Meadow”). They are: * Baydar Yayla * Ay-Petri Yayla * Yalta Yayla * Nikita Yayla * Gurzuf Yayla * Babugan Yayla * Chatyr-Dag Yayla * Dologorukovskaya Yayla * Demirji Yayla * Karabi Yayla The Crimea’s highest peak is the Roman-Kosh on the Babugan Yayla, 1545 m above sea level. The most important passes over the Crimean Mountains are: * Angarskyi Pass near Perevalne village, on the road ... read more

Europe » Ukraine » Krim » Yalta November 17th 2010

Ay-Petri What is Ay-Petri? It is hard to answer this question shortly. Somebody tells about the beauty of the sunrise. Alpinists and climbers, tourists and excursionists, speleologists and skiers will tell something different about this mountain. You can ascend on Ay-Petri cliffs, visit 3 karst caves equipped for tourists, taste Tatar food on the “Eastern bazaar”. Ay-Petri is a peak and large mountain massif with area of more than 300 square kilometers, one of the mesas along the Southern Coast which form the Main Ridge of Crimean mountains. Ay-Petri massif stretches from east to west on 25 km. The distance between its southern edge and northern foothills is more than 13 km. But most of the tourists remember only one of its peaks with exotic stone teeth which are pushed to the South. It has ... read more

Europe » Ukraine » Krim » Yalta November 17th 2010

Alupka Alupka is situated 17 km (11 mi) to the west of Yalta. Vorontsov’s Palace was built in 1828-1846. It was designed by the English architect Edward Blore (1789-1879) in mixture of Scottish baronial and Neo-Moorish styles. Alupka park which surrounds the palace was constructed from 1824 to 1851, it was designed by Carolus Antonius Keebach. The plants were brought in from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, from North and South America, and eastern Asia. Currently over 200 species of plants exist within the palace’s grounds. The park has lakes with swans, stone chaos, waterfalls. In 1848, white marble sculptures of lions were installed on the central staircase leading up to the castle. The sculptures were carried out by the Italian sculptor Giovanni Bonnani. Alupka is located at the foot of the 1234 meter Ai-Petri ... read more


Europe » Ukraine » Krim » Eupatoria October 11th 2010

Some places can boast the ability to preserve historical attractions. One of those place is Crimea. Crimea is an autonomous republic in Ukraine, a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea. During the history this territory was conquered lots of times by Cimmerians, Greeks, Scythians, Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Khazars, the state of Kievan Rus', Byzantine Greeks, Kipchaks, Ottoman Turks, Golden Horde Tatars and the Mongols, Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire, Russian Empire, and USSR. And during World War II it was controlled by Germany for a while. It was a real plum due to its location. And as you can understand all of them had left something there:) So here are just some pictures of what was left behind:) It's not the whole list of the historical attractions in Crimea. Hopefully, I will ... read more
Khersones Columns
Scythian Neapolis

Europe » Ukraine » Krim » Sevastopol October 6th 2009

From Yalta it took a little under 2 hours for our bus to twist and turn its way along the coastal road to Sevastopol. We were dropped off at the bus station, conveniently located over the bridge from the train station. On arrival we were greeted by the sight of a stationary train with its cargo of an anti-aircraft gun! No doubt that was a reminder if one was necessary that we had arrived in a military town. There are not a lot of accommodation options in Sevastopol but that wasn’t a problem as there were plenty of pensioners hanging around the station offering rooms or apartments. We went with one old lady who said, in English, that her place was in the centre. It wasn’t but it was close enough! We soon found ourselves in ... read more
Russian Submarine
War Memorial
Military Commander

Europe » Ukraine » Krim » Sevastopol October 6th 2009

The rumor I heard were the Ukrainian authorities were trying to get more money from Holland America before we could disembark. Whether true or not we were about 90 minutes late before the six of us could board a tender after waiting for those who booked with the ship operated tours. While waiting aboard the ship for our turn for a tender we could hear the announcements for ship operated tours and found it a little amusing to hear the call for the tour to Balaklava pronounced Baklava, sounds like a tasty place to go! As each boat docked a small marching band would start to play and newly arrived passengers would crowd around and snap photos of the band. We quickly found our tour bus operators who were a little concerned about our late arrival. ... read more
Uspensky Cave Monastery
Canon Near Panorama Museum
Black Sea

Europe » Ukraine » Krim » Yalta September 30th 2009

It took just over 12 hours on the train to get from Odesa to Simferopol. Despite being very comfortable compared to Azerbaijani trains, we still didn’t sleep well! At the station we found somewhere for a McBreakfast before buying tickets on the World’s longest and slowest trolleybus. From Simferopol to Yalta is just 85km but it took almost 3 hours. It’s a nice route but after the first 90 minutes we just wanted to get there! There doesn’t seem to be an awful lot of choice when it comes to hotels anywhere on the Crimean peninsula. We took a taxi from Yalta’s bus station to the Hotel Krim in the centre. There we waited for 15 minutes and it seemed we were no closer to being seen to so we left. We weren’t sorry to walk ... read more
Live Music!
Local sunbathers
Golden Onion Domes

Europe » Ukraine » Krim September 2nd 2009

Riding across the vast plains of southern Russia we had a hard time imagining what any government could possibly want with all of this flat, dry land. As it stands now, the federation is the largest country in the world. Trying to picture all of this PLUS the former CIS states is mind blowing given that Moscow is closer to New York than the Russian Far East. Here in the Crimean Penninsula, however, it is easy to see how a superpower would want to lay claim to a destination so removed from its core. This place is truly gorgeous and different in every way from the rest of the landscapes on our route. Riding through vineyards high above the sea in the shadows of alpine peaks we are exhaulted after 5000 kilometers of flat, flat and ... read more
Weeeee.....down to the Black Sea
Above the town of Kerch, Ukraine

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