Despite the trappings of Yalta I have moved on via Sudak and Novy Svet to Feodosiya.
The coastline just keeps on getting better and different all at the same time. The 4 hour journey from Yalta to Sudak was just superb. The steep hillside covered in pine trees with rocky peaks gently subsided as we drove further east. The vegetation got more sparse, more varied and there is an arid nature to the small valleys that have been created. As soon as you leave the wider confines of greater Yalta the development of hotels and houses just seem to disappear, you are greeted with endless valleys of untouched wild countryside. The narrowing twisting roads having to make numerous changes of direction as it contours, rises and falls as it makes its way around the coast.
We also made a number of stops at tiny seaside villages along the way. Only a handful of tourist and the locals left there. Most of the shops and buildings were shut and had closed down for the season. I think anyway, as sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between a building that is open for business as usual and one that will fall down as soon as you touch the door knob. Like a cable car really.
It was at one of these stops whilst I was wandering along the beach with my cup of sweet green tea that a fellow bus passenger asked me “Do you want me to shoot you?”. At which point I obviously said “Yes”, “and can you get some of the coastline in as it would make a lovely photo (in sign language)”. One of the best bits of English I have heard all holiday you had to be here as his accent was even better.
Sudak itself I did not see much of as the 14th century Genoese fortress is the main point for going and that was only a stones throw from my hotel balcony. After a while the coastline gets to you completely, so after I checked in to my room I made my way to the stony beach bought a pair of trunks from a stall holder on the way and went for a swim in the Black sea then lay on the beach just like all the other Russian and Ukrainian tourists.
This morning I had a walk to Novy Svet which had an even better beach and it was just as good for swimming as well. On the way I passed a number of rock climbers attempting one of the numerous rock slabs which just make the coastline so appealing. Walking along the narrow coast road for a few hours looking down at the tiny bays and rocky outcrops was fabulous.
More stops on the bus to Feodosiya. Probably the best bus journey yet along the coast. More vegetation, and a hint of autumn now in the leaves. This Eastern end of the Crimea feels far less developed and wild, even the towns reflect this, more huge unmarked buildings with a steady flow of people, as well as the original 1970s sanatorium type holiday centres continued the Crimea’s legacy as a holiday destination. May be it is the Russian influence here but it definitely feels different to the likes of Balaclava.
More Exploring in Feodosiya tomorrow before the start of the journey back via Simferopol and Kiev.
By the way despite being mid October the warm weather is still with me and in the mid twenties every day with blue sky.
Mart, The weather, the mountains, the greenery, the food, the beer, the vodka and getting shot on the beach.