As for me and my house we will serve the Lord....

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ten Reasons Everyone Wants Crimea (places to see someday)

You might remember that we were in Crimea visiting when the government in Kiev was changed. It is where Ukrainians and Russians love to go on vacation, and that is the real reason everyone wants it. We have driven to many of the cities in Crimea  seaside attractions so here are our favorites. There is natural beauty, mountains, history and of course beaches to be experienced if you ever get the chance to go.

Garry heard a joke that's was going around Ukraine- Putin is taking over Crimea so people will go to Sochi next summer instead. 

I am sure there are many others I could have put here, but here are some of our favorite places we have been in Crimea...

The road from Stevastopol to Yalta

 beautiful scenic views of vineyards, mountains and the sea- unless it is foggy like it was when we were there a couple weeks ago, then walk the promenade in Yalta, get your photo taken with a monkey, or a palm tree. Take a boat tour to see the Swallow's Nest, an incredible tiny castle on the cliffs between Yalta and Alupka, if your in shape, climb the stairs to the top (it's more magical from the bottom, it's an expensive restaurant inside now.)

Swallow's Nest

Kerch- besides being really close to Russia- you can go by ferry-  is one of the hero cities of the second world war and where you can find the ruins of a Turkish fort, a remnant of the Ottoman Empire (you have to really look hard to find it, the directions and signage were very not good)

The city symbol is a griffin, if you are into winged creatures

yes, that is an apartment building in the middle of the ruins....

Between Kerch and the rest of these places, it has ruins from the Genoa traders, and don't miss the art museum there, huge paintings of amazing seascapes (I forget his name but that's his statue).

Bakchisaria - 

 explore Tatar culture in the city that was the capital of Crimea when they ruled the land, tour the Khan Palace, home of the famous Fountain of Tears (Pushkin poem) and eat traditional food at one of the cafes. I recommend a bowl of lagman soup to start. The hookah is extra if you want to try it out.

There is an Orthodox monastery built into limestone hills you can walk up to to and tour, and for a real hike go further up the mountain to the old cave city.

Great place for hide and seek

Sudak- fortress

Seth and Jonah's favorite place we visited in Ukraine. It is one the places where the Genoa traders (from Italy) built fortresses in the middle ages. Russia is not the only people who have history in Crimea. The boys liked the castle and the armor they rented and the battle they had with real metal swords was the best part for them.

The secret Soviet submarine base-

Hoping this attraction remains open in Balaclava, the Ukrainian government opened it as a museum. It was built early in the cold war, and became obsolete when the new subs were too big to fit inside, they were brought into the mountain base through a tunnel for repairs. There were plans on blowing it up when the American spies came, too. You have to get a photo with the nuclear blast door when you go.

The cliffs of western-most point in Crimea (Tarkankut)

We went swimming with the boys here our first summers in Ukraine- it is near Chernomorskya where Victor's family likes to go on vacation every summer. In August 2012 Garry and I had a memorable camping trip right on the cliffs ( go to  post from the middle of August 2012 to read about the big thunderstorm) and Garry jumped right in, it is one of his favorite places in Crimea, for sure.

Greek ruins (Stevastopol)

You can go to Stevastopol , take a boat tour around the Black Sea Fleet (it is not in English, even if they tell you it is) or go see the Panorama of the Crimean War (which you can get a tour in English, maybe, but for something really amazing try to find -if you're driving use the GPS, it was not easy to find- real Greek Ruins!

A UNESCO world heritage site, walk around the ancient Greek ruins to see columns, mosaic floors, foundations of buildings, and in the center of it all, an Orthodox church that was rebuilt after the USSR broke apart to commemorate where Christianity came to the Russian empire when a ruler was baptized here.

Ai Petri

El- Petri - the mountain near Yalta

 We accidentally drove the road over the mountain in the dusk and fog in October with Garry's parents. It was a little scary for everyone, with numerous switchbacks. Garry and I still need to take the cable car ride, so I hope we get back to Crimea. It is an incredible scenic view when you take a boat ride from Yalta or from the gardens in Aluptka. ....
Clay with Garry  


our Canadian friend Clay calls it the most beautiful place on earth. Walk through the beautiful botanical gardens to the Vorontsov Palace, which is incredible inside and out. Don't miss the lion statues on the Indian-influenced side of the castle, facing the sea, they are my favorites. You can see Ai Petri from many places in the gardens and near the palace which overlooks the sea.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad we got to visit several times and that my girls got there at least once to see the history. It is a beautiful place but I doubt I can ever go back. Getting a Russian visa was hard enough before the war, now for me it will be impossible, I expect.