CRIMEA, Day 1: Rolling Hills

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.

I’m here.

Road Simferopol to Sudak, Meadows

Road Simferopol to Sudak Road through Sudak, Victory Day Banner  Road Simferopol to Sudak, Vineyards  Road Simferopol to Sudak, Sheep Road Simferopol to Sudak, Poppies Road Simferopol to Sudak, Pine Forests Road Simferopol to Sudak, Village DachnoyeRoad Sudak to Novy Svet

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23 thoughts on “CRIMEA, Day 1: Rolling Hills

    • Not really – I’d say like Castellano and Catalan. Some people have easier time understanding it than others. I am in the latter group, though if enough is spoken I can understand the general context, because certain words will be close to their Russian counterparts, and other words will be close to “related” Russian words. That said, nobody in Crimea actually speaks Ukrainian, most of them never had and don’t know how to. Among the locals I only heard Russian and Tatar.

      • Interesting… thanks for that! I asked a Ukrainian guy I met in Germany once about this, and he just shrugged his shoulders and said it was the same. In hindsight, I realised that he was (ethnically) Russian.

        • HA! Exactly! If you asked someone like my ex (from the Carpathian region way out west), you’d get a whole lecture on how it’s not and on how it’s insulting you even asked. It’s much closer to Czech or Slovak, I believe, though the alphabet is still Cyrillic.

          But Russian is prevalent throughout Ukraine. We were discussing something yesterday at work: a couple of months ago there was a leaked tape of two of the most prominent Ukrainian leaders (one of which was eternal opposition leader Yulia Timoshenko) discussing all the “fun” things they’d want to do to Russia and Russians. Now, both of them are the rah-rah-Ukrainian-nationalism-lets-ban-Russian-everywhere folk, and their conversation was actually in Russian. Very few people who speak Ukrainian do not also speak Russian, even in the west.

          • There seem to be quite a few parallels to the Spanish situation. There was an outrage a couple of years ago over paying tens of thousands of Euros a day for translators working in the Spanish parliament to translate Catalan, Basque, Galician etc. into Castillian and back, when EVERYBODY speaks Castillian.

  1. I went to a bar in Lviv with a Russian guy who pretended he was from somewhere else in case he got beaten up for being Russian… until he spotted some girls that he wanted to chat up! Even in Lviv people learn Russian in school. Lovely pictures of Crimea, by the way, looking forward to hearing about your experiences there!

    • Yup, my ex is 32 and he still had Russian in high school (he’s from around there); not sure if younger kids, born after the USSR split had to, out west.

  2. It looks like an awesome area, especially if you can ignore the weird politicking going on and just enjoy the scenery. I love the picture of the running sheep (?) – so provincial.

    • Actually if you went there having never watched or read any news, you’d have no idea there was any kind of politicking going on at all. Later on (maybe 12-15 posts in) I will actually break the #1 covenant of this blog [staying out of politics], and do go into it a little bit. But it’s really just a resort area, very similar in its mood like anything you’ll find in the south of Europe. The sheep felt particularly Greek to me 🙂

      • Thank you very much.My parents also went to Crimea via Anapa by plane and further by taxi and ferry to Kerch.Be aware from northern Crimea-Ukrainian border because of refugees who occupated a lot of hotels and hostels there.They are fleeing to Crimea even from non combat Ukrainian regions like Kiev,Lvow and Zhitomir for free Russian residence permit.

          • As my parents said those refugees entered Crimea not only from combat regions of Ukraine but also from Kiev,Lwov,Zhitomir for free accommodation!It is really easy to see them.The refugees from DPR and LPR are glad to live anywhere even in the tent camps.The refugees from non combat regions of Ukraine are angry when the emergency service accommodate them far from the sea,ask a lot of beer,wi fi,and money while the real refugees are glad to anything that they can get from the emergency service.

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