Day 10-12, Ai Petri, Fiolent

To the photos

Day 10, 16.4., Ai Petri

At the bus station of Sevastopol I told the woman behind the counter I wanted to get on the next bus to Koreiz (near Yalta), where the hike to 1234m high Ai Petri mountain starts. But apparently she booked a ticket to Yalta, so when I checked my current location 15min before the written arrival on the ticket, I was already close to the centre of Yalta. So I quickly got out and stopped a bus to Sevastopol which let me out about 1km before the starting point.

At 2.30pm I started hiking and about 100 minutes later I stood on top of Ai Petri. The hike has been really nice, because the weather was great all the time; there were no clouds like the day before, which blocked the view.

Unfortunately the cablecar which I thought, I could take back down didn’t run yet, so I had to hike down, too. But before I relaxed one hour on the summit, writing mails, taking photos and eating.

At 5pm I started my way back down and after having arrived, started hitch-hiking to Sevastopol.

Two guys stopped and took me to the next bus stop. There another guy talked to me and even bought the bus ticket for me.

Day 11, 17.4., Fiolent

At noon I met with E. and R. at the cash machine near their university, where I had to wait 30 minutes to get some cash. But then we took the bus to Fiolent, where, near a monastery, 700 descend down to the Black Sea cost.

Because it was my last full day in Crimea and the weather was really nice – sunny and a bit hot – I decided to go for a swim. But it was freezing cold. My skin really hurt really much after some swimming movements. At least I stood the cold water longer than some young Russians who arrived when we were leaving.

E. and R. were very thankful and said, our conversations have been a worthwhile language training, which I hope it really was.

Before I said good-bye to E., she helped me finding a good Crimean champaign for my mother’s birthday.

Till the evening I strolled around the centre in Sevastopol, threw the in the meantime self-designed post cards in a post box and sat down in a park to read.
To the photos of Ai Petri and Fiolent

Day 12-13, 18.4.,  Sevastopol-Kyiv

At 12.30pm my train was departing from Sevastopol train station to Kyiv. But before I had to do some shopping: more champaign for my friends in Karlsruhe and Berlin and the delicious Galicia apple-carrot juice.

Sadly I then entered the train and left Crimea. The haven’t been any passport controls of Russian soldiers. Only Ukrainian ones walked through the train at Melitopol train station.

In Kyiv I arrived at 7.30am, took advantage of cheap McDonald’s prices for a tiny breakfast and went to Boryspil airport by metro and bus.

There I helped an American guy, who visited Ukraine for meeting a woman, who could have been his daughter. He had invited her to fancy restaurants, but could only talk to her with a personal translator, because her English was non-existent. He registered at a website and had received and replied to more than 5000 letters from Ukrainian girls.

But everytime he answers, he needs to pay a certain amount of money from which I’m sure a certain percentage goes to girls. That’s why I guess their intention may not only meeting and being invited by the guys but just to keep up the communication because it might be a good income – I mean normally people would exchange email/Skype/Facebook/VK details. Some girls even wanted to be invited to America – on the guy’s cost naturally.

At 2pm it was finally time to leave Eastern Europe and to head to Paris.

Thanks for reading

<– Previous (First mountain hike)


Ai Petri

Fiolent

Sevastopol to Paris


<– Previous (First mountain hike)

Advertisements

Day 8-9, Walk in the Crimean mountains

To the photos

Day 8, 14.4., Sevastopol

That day, not much was going on. I accompanied L. to the university, took some money. After I was done E. and one of her fellow students came towards me. They had a break, so we walked through Chersonesus having conversation in German.

At the end E. asked me, whether I would be OK to visit one of her German classes the next day, which I happily agreed to.

Apart from that I just walked around and literally asked in every shop, whether they have post cards. But I didn’t have success. At the post office a woman told me – at least that’s what I got from her words – that all post cards had to be exchanged. This is strange, because normally post cards don’t care, which country the region belongs to.

I could have understood if they had been out stamps, because these had to be exchanged into Russian ones. However, back in Yalta I was able to get stamps as well as post cards.

In the end  I walked the long way back to L.’s apartement to say Good-bye and go to her friend A. and her boyfriend O., who is a professional PC gamer.

Day 9, 15.4., Sevastopol, Foros-Tilove

At noon I met with E. to take part in the German lesson. Including the teacher, eight students were present – only girls. But the communication in German was a bit difficult. It was possible to talk with the teacher, E. and her friend R., but the other students rather wanted to speak English. So in the end, when the teacher was gone,  we spoke English, .

I arranged to meet E. and R. on Thursday again for a little tour and went to the bus station from where I took a bus to Foros to start my hike along some crests (map in OpenRouteService.org). I started the approximately 12km hike quite late in the afternoon at 4pm and started hitchhiking back to Sevastopol at about 8pm. But because it got dark at about 9pm, that was not a problem.

The first part of the hike was a bit chilly as I forgot a jacket. But after the first “summet” I hiked out of the clouds into the sun and could enjoy the famous beautiful and breathtaking Crimean landscape – I loved walking along the crests and over meadows.

The way was not really well signed, but with GPS, it haven’t been a problem. But I guess even without it’s possible to find at least the right direction – it was just more comfortable for me, since I started quite late.

<– Previous (Chersonesus, Balaklava) # Next (Ai Petri, Fiolent) –>


Photos of day 8


Photos of day 9


<– Previous (Chersonesus, Balaklava) # Next (Ai Petri, Fiolent) –>

Day 4-5, Yalta

To the photos

Day 4, 10.4.2014, Shcholkine-Yalta

At first I could hitch-hike only little distances from Shcholkine, two times with a Lada, whereas the first Lada 1500 was in great shape, but the second one was falling apart.

When I arrived at the main road to Yalta a convoy of at least 60 military vehicles passed by. They went back to Kerch and then likely to Krasnodar in Russia. I had to smile and so did some drivers as well.

Then I could get a ride in a car, that only few people drive may in their life (most people won’t care anyway): Alexander from Odessa stopped with his Mercedes AMG S63 and gave me a lift to Feodosiya. He was more convinced of Bentley or Aston Martin, though….WFT ^^

In Feodosiya I took a bus to a junction to Sudak/Yalta, where a Russian couple stopped and asked for the way to Yalta. First the woman say they won’t take passengers, nevertheless I explained them how to get to Yalta, because she spoke English and both seemed nice. And in the end they gave me a lift in their Lexus, which was driven to its and the street’s limit.

Their intention of the visit was buying real estate. Now that Crimea became Russian, but many people are still not sure about the future, they think of making a good investment. So rich Russian oligarchs may benefit from a Russian Crimea.

10km before Yalta I got off and found a nice place uphill with view to the Black Sea and thanks to the moon it was quite light.

Day 5, 11.4., Yalta-Sevastopol

In the morning I took a trolley bus to Yalta. Unfortunately the luggage room was closed, so I had to take my backpack into the city centre. At the central square with a Lenin statue I bought some stamps at the post office and saw one of the three closed McDonald’s of Crimea.

Before I took a bus to Sevastopol, I found a really delicious juice in the ATB supermarket made by a company called Galicia. The ingredients were told to be just 50% apple and 50% carrot, no concentrate and no GMO – but it cannot be found on the website.

Anyway, in Sevastopol I met with my host L. whom I cannot thank enough for being able to visit Crimea respectively applying for a Russian visa. Followed by unfriendly words and deadly views due to my big luggage in the small minibus we drove to her home.

After a short relaxation time we went to the city centre in the evening, walked around a bit and drank coffee/milk shake in L.’s favourite coffee house at the seaside.

<– Previous (Day 1-3, Kyiv, nuclear power plant) # Next (Day 6-7, Sevastopol, Chersonesus, Balaklava) –>


Photos of day 4 # Photos of day 5


<– Previous (Day 1-3, Kyiv, nuclear power plant) # Next (Day 6-7, Sevastopol, Chersonesus, Balaklava) –>

Day 1-3, Kyiv, train to Crimea

Straight to the photos

Day 1, 7.4.2014, Karlsruhe-Kyiv, Monday

I got up at 5am and hitch-hiked to Frankfurt for picking up my passport with – hopefully – the Russian visa inside. Fortunately I got both without problems, with made me very happy.

After a little walk along the river Main, I got on the train to the airport and tried to get some sleep there.

Unfortunately other than at Munich Airport Frankfurt didn’t have the possibility of free coffee, but at least I got two meals on the Lufthansa flight to Kyiv, which was the last plane that departed that day from Frankfurt Airport.

Day 2, 8.4.2014, Kyiv, Kyiv-Kerch

The plane arrived with a delay at Boryspil Airport and I took the city bus at 2.50am to Kyiv main station. There I stored my backpack and walked straight to Maidan Nezalezhnosti.

Of course at this time it was dark and after I turned into the street to Maidan, I could already see the barricades. It was scary to see them in reality: all the tires, wood and metal bars, the tents and barrels with burning fire inside created an intimidating atmosphere. I didn’t dare to take photos although the people who were walking by didn’t seem to care at all.

At daylight everything seemed less dramatic. Cars passed some blockades and ordinary people walked across Maidan to their working place.

I saw mostly 40+ y.o.  men in the tents and often ambulances heading for Maidan. There were many posters connecting Russia with 3rd Reich and fascism or Putin with hitler (Putler). Some called for peace, others for an end of Russian propaganda.

At 1.30pm I entered the overnight train from Kyiv to Sevastopol receptively Kerch, where I was heading to.

Day 3, 9.4.2014, Kerch, Shcholkine

At 1.20am Ukrainian soldiers went through the train and checked the passports and at about 3am look-alike Russian soldiers – they wore military clothes, but I couldn’t see any Russian flag only a little plastic card at their chest which I wasn’t able to read – came in. The guy checking my passport seemed astonished. I had an invitation from L. in Sevastopol but was on the train to Kerch, which is on the other side of Crimea. So I told him “I: Kerch-Sevastopol-Kyiv-Germania”, though he had to ask another guy before he returned my passport without a stamp. Probably I was one of the first foreigners who visited Crimea.

In Kerch I walked to the very outskirts and started hitch-hiking to Shcholkine at Cape Kazantyp to an abandoned nuclear power plant. Four plants were planned there, but after the catastrophe of Chernobyl constructions were stopped.

When I arrived at 3pm the sun was still high due to Moscow time (UTC +4), I pitched my tent and read for some time.

The nuclear power plant and area of its was “guarded” by very poor people who didn’t let the dogs out but me in only for a fee of some Euro. There lived a couple of persons. Two seemed to live in an old iron caravan and others with animals like horses and goats in a administrative building.

Next (Day 4-5, Yalta, Sevastopol) –>

Photos of day 1 and day 2 (Kyiv) # Photos of day 3 (nuclear power plant)


Next (Day 4-5, Yalta, Sevastopol) –>


Next (Day 4-5, Yalta, Sevastopol) –>