Wildflower meadows. One after next, after next, after next. Blue, pink, purple, yellow, white, red. Cornflowers, poppies, daisies, clovers, heather, wild lavender.
Cows grazing idly by the side of the road. Cyprus trees peppering wide open spaces. Tiny village houses hidden by the lush orchards. Blue mountain ridges looming in the distance. Echoes of Provence and the American West.
Signage in Russian and not-quite-Russian. Giant billboards with adverts for Russian political parties of every stripe. Russian flags.
Small Orthodox churches. Small mosques. Small trolley buses right out of the 1950’s – literally out of the 1950’s, that’s how long some of them had been on the road.
An airport that could fit into my high school gymnasium. A two-hour taxi ride down a serpentine road, through vineyards, pine forests, rolling hills, mountain ranges. Finally, a glimpse of the sea, just as the sun is ready to set.
A walk down a rocky path.
A cabin in the woods.