The Crimea South East Coast.
This was to be our last day in Simferopol and the Hotel Ukraine (a hotel that I recommend). Olga my travelling companion suggested Sudak and Novyi Svit, on the south east coast as she knew these places, so after another sumptuous breakfast we packed our bags and bade farewell to the very friendly staff of the hotel.
As ever we chose a rather round about route to our destination, so that we could take in some more out of the way countryside and once again we were rewarded with a very interesting journey. Some 40 minutes east of Simferopol we found the road we were seeking that would take us to the coast. Almost immediately we were rewarded with hundreds of roadside Cherry trees (the Crimea is rich in a variety of fruit trees), so we stopped and picked our fill of Cherry’s.
After we had sated our appetite for Cherries we decided to search a lake we had seen on the map that was not to far from the road. We soon found a dirt track and after about 1 klm found the lake, big, beautiful and with many beaches, so we found a nice spot and settled for an hour to enjoy the scenery. We did not see another sole, but sadly it was a little overcast to bathe.
After our pause we continued our journey, but once again (and not indicated on the map) the black top road became a gravel track and this one in very poor condition. We must have travelled at least 15 klm’s on this road and it was actually quite busy, minibuses, taxis and regular cars. It was a slow and bumpy road and after ascending to what seemed quite an altitude and the descending even more we began to encounter small villages. This was a seriously neglected part of the Crimea, with seriously neglected roads, some clearly washed away by swollen streams and rivers and never repaired.
After 1 hour of this very slow and difficult driving we found the main east west coast road, quite a relief! It was now well past lunch time so we stopped at the first coastal village we found. It was small, but very crowded, but we found a cafe-restaurant right on the beach. Popular in Crimea is an almost Arabic style of dining, with the table surrounded by a lounging, or bed arrangement. I could never feel quite comfortable eating like this. When we finished we asked for the WC. We have not they told us! We asked outside in the market, we have not they told us! Now this was a busy and clearly popular little place? No don’t go there.
We set off east and passed many very crowded small Business in Ukraine beaches, but our patience was rewarded when we eventually discovered an unoccupied and attractive beach, so we took our rest there. Olga braved the (for me) cold weather and swam, I did not. After about an hour we set off for Sudak and it did not take us very long to reach our destination. Olga particularly wanted to show me Novyi Svit (new world in English) and as it was only 6 klm’s along what was effectively a cul de sac, off we went. Some halfway we came across a very old fortification, big and covering a huge area, at a guess I’d pitch its age at about 1,000 years, but built by whom I did not discover, the day was ending and we wanted our final bathe in the sea.
We soon arrived at our destination, a very pretty and very small seaside town, parked our car and headed directly to the beach. We were lucky we arrived so late in the afternoon, the place was packed and we were lucky to find a space on the beach. I think maybe earlier in the day the beach must have been as an ants nest! The sun was setting the sea was calm and warm and this was a truly beautiful bay and town, but very, very popular and crowded.
Feeling great, revitalised and fresh from our swim, we took the short ride back to Sudak and quickly found a very adequate hotel (there are many decent hotels in Sudak), our only disappointment was that there was no internet, it had been constitution day in Ukraine, a very important day and national holiday marking Ukraine’s new found independence, following some 70 years of being part of the Soviet Union, or dare I say following 70 years of Soviet Occupation, which it was is not entirely clear to me. Anyhow the internet was disconnected and unavailable, so no work for us either this day.
Following our Supper in the hotel we set off to investigate Sudak’s nightlife and walked straight into a circus/fairground/market/nightmare all rolled into one. For me it was a big surprise, for Olga no, she told me it was typical of Crimean summer nightlife. It was packed; I mean really packed about 50/50 with Russian/Ukrainian tourists and all around was desperation to sell, something, anything to the visitors. We both wanted out and fast. We found a shop to buy drinks and quickly found access to a beach (not always so easy in Crimea) and settled to drink our beer. We sat but a stones throw from the sea, but sat underneath concrete and were surrounded by concrete. I did not find it at all attractive.