Sudak and Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine Week 27 19th - 21st October 2011
Karadaz National Park is just a bit west of Sudak.

We backtracked (for the first time in 6 months!).

It held such promise, a volcanic core on the coast line.

Unfortunately this is as close to it as we got.

An enthusiastic Ranger showed us the botanic garden but also showed us the "no hiking" notices. Guided tours if we happened to be there at the right time.

We weren't.

And the aquarium was also closed.

Shebidovka, with some large buildings on the main road. 

We took a side road to Kurortne and the park was just to the north.

On the way back we stopped at the shop to stock up on food.

Filling with water in Sudak was one of our more bizarre episodes.

Needed 4wd to reverse through the mud to a garden gate. The hose wasn't long enough. It leaked and a bucket was produced to collect the leak. The guy from the fuel station that took us there was in a hurry so turned the tap up full, which made it leak more - he was in a hurry and didn't understand the limit was my throttle on the truck. And then it cost us too much -some for the old woman who owned the house, some for the finder. 

The Genoese Fortress at Sudak.

Built in the 14 - 15th centuries.

Genoa was one of the city states in Italy that spread its trading wings, then defended them.

Climbing to the top of the fortress was a bit of a challenge. So off we set.

This is the view to the west from near the top.

Looking back over Sudak.

The castellations in the foreground are a bit like a "Y" in the center whereas elsewhere they are square.

Different influences at different times - or one of the restorers has a sense of humour.

And looking east.

Ferries from across the Black Sea and further along the coast dock just below us.

We returned to our favourite beach for the night.

And to watch another sunset.

Plus mustn't forget the bottle of local wine.

They are sweet wines, not to everyone's palate. We tried hard and enjoyed it. At $3 we were willing to be adventurous.

We headed west along the south coast of the Crimea. Towards Yalta and Sevastopol.

Names from school history that were about to become alive.

Its referred to as the Russian Riviera and has holiday resorts (complete with imported sand apparently) along the coast.

Prime location for a shrine.
We sort of bounced off Yalta as the tourist resort held little interest for us.

We headed into the hills as there was an inland road through national park that looked interesing.

Unfortunately the road was closed and no information available about the park. We camped somewhere near the entrance.

The Alupka Palace (or Vorontsov Palace) is a few km west of Yalta.

It was built in the early days of the 20th century as a holiday retreat for the last of the Russian tsars.

A mixture of Scottish and Moorish architectural influences.

Its also where Winston Churchill stayed while attending the post WWII Yalta conference between Britain, US and Russia, that divided up Europe between Europe and Russia.

A slightly more docile version of the Crimean War.

The front door is on the left.

The museum entry is a little further back.

For some reason Russian and Ukrainian tourist attractions situate their ticket offices as far from the viewing entrance as possible. They also have separate tickets for different attractions within the same site.

We have never been sure what we have been buying tickets for. Or whether we've paid for the camera.

This time we got to see the main attraction.

The palace is between the mountains and the sea. This is from a terrace overlooking the sea. trying to look back at the mountains.

A nice place to relax after a day at the office - though Winston apparently found the climate humid and uncomfortable.

The dining room.

Sorry. It isn't a Juliette balcony on the right. Its for the serf minstrels and is accessible from the serfs' quarters.

No wonder there was a popular revolution.

I guess we could say we've been in the same room as Winston.

Just 65 years difference.

But it does put history in some sort of ongoing perspective when the characters were still alive in one's own lifetime.

The drive west from Yalta is scenic. Mountains and sea.

We bypassed Sevastopol (where Russia has a lease to keep its Black Sea fleet for a few more years) and Balaclava (where a famous light cavalry charge occurred in what's now a vineyard).

It seems that Yalta was perhaps a bit symbolic for the WWII conference. The Crimea War had been fought on the premise of keeping Russia out of the Mediterranean and that also seems to have been the aim of Britain and US for the conference.

The west coast of Crimea was a bit of a surprise.

Sand cliffs.

We expected it to be lower for some reason.

Nice to see the layers and colours of sand.

We perched Tardis on top of the cliff and spent the night there on the basis there was a little tent image on the map.
Ukraine is the first country for a while in which we've seen "toys".

This microlight pilot buzzed us a couple of times. I suspect he was planning to land but someone photographing him was in the way.

There was also a hot air balloon in the distance and later a helicopter.

We've seen a couple of caravans parked next to houses and passed a couple of cars towing boats.

But alongside that was this woman who was taking her herd of half a dozen goats home. Its a stool she's carrying on her back.
Bakhchysaray, Crimea, Ukraine Week 28 22nd - 25th October 2011

Peter James Tue, 01 Nov 11 09:15:47 +1100
Saw in your previous page (with closed comments, hence my comment here) that you missed not having an oven. Sandra has cooked a few roasts now in the Oka using the camp oven on the diesel cooktop, works very well on the lowest setting.
Really enjoying your travels, like other look forward to the next installment.

'Bro Wed, 02 Nov 11 20:53:14 +1100
Nice to see re-appearance of blog. Seeing the photo of the West Coast of Crimea was odd - just like to beach on our West Coast.

Sorry, comments closed.