It's been a while since last time I was in Ukraine. The pandemic and the invasion have put plans to revisit on hold. I dug out some old pictures from my visits in Ukraine and in this series of posts, I will share some of my experiences from travelling in Ukraine, starting with Crimea.
I visited in Crimea in late Summer 2010. We flew in to Simferopol from Kyiv and spent a little week in a rented cabin near the coast west of Jalta. The water was warm and and never calm, I remember diving down and picking up shellfish from the rocky sea floor. We ate fresh figs for breakfast picked from the fig tree groove surrounding the cabin.
The beachfront was paved with concrete and abandoned construction projects littered the area, particularly a luxury hotel for the Soviet elite overlooking the sea. The coastline is defined by the mountains that rise from the sea.
We took a bus to Yalta one day to see the room where Stalin, Churchill, and FDR drew the line down Europe that would later become the iron curtain and divide Europe for 45 years. We walked back and when nature called and my companion asked for directions to the nearest public toilet, the answer was "everywhere".
Another day we travelled to Sevastopol. The presence of the Russian navy was clear but at that time I did not perceive it as a threat. At the outskirts of Sevastopol, we explored the ruins of the greek settlement Chersonesus.
We also visited Balaklava and the nearby submarine repair station that had been carved into the mountain during the Cold War. At that time a museum, going through heavy blast doors into a large tunnel. Seven Whiskey-class submarines would fit in there.
Such a beautiful place with such a long, tragic history.