Sunday, April 16, 2006

Крим (Crimea)

This past week Liisa and I took a week off and flew down to the Crimean Peninsula (Крим) in the Ukraine. We flew into Simferopol (Сімферополь) which is the capital but mainly a transportation and industrial hub (as you land you see a big nuclear power plant). After a long wait and an unbelievably slow train ride we made it to Sevastopol (Севастополь) which was a closed city during the Soviet times as it housed the entire Black Sea fleet. To this day it still houses over 500 warships, 75% of which are Russian which are housed there with a 20 year lease and the rest are Ukrainian. Sevestopol is a old city and has a very interesting history, most famously it is known as the location of the Crimean War between the Brits and the Russians back in the 1800s and was made famous by the tales of Florence Nightingale. The city is quite interesting as it is still full of sailors and ships which add a sort of reality to the entire place.

After a couple of days spent here seeing the sites and getting used to the Ukrainian lifestyle we took a 1.5 hours bus ride to Yalta, the summer capital of the Soviet Union. The bus ride there was insane to say the least, the coast of Crimea is very mountainous and the cars/buses speed along narrow, pothole filled roads with little concern for anything except breaking the land speed record. The scenery is amazing, huge mountains on one side and the Black Sea way down below on the other side make for quite a spectacular ride.

Next post: Yalta and the surrounding area.

For all our pictures click here.

For more information on Crimea click here.


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