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Crimea is waiting for you

At the turn of the year 201213, Crimea came first among the twenty most attractive destinations of the year with its castle “Swallow’s Nest”: on the cover of the Traveler issue of the world-famous magazine “National Geographic Magazine”. You have to see these travel destinations (”Our 20 Must-See Places for 2013”), it was in large letters.

A good year later, in the spring of 2014, everything was different. The inhabitants of the Crimean peninsula were definitely tired of anti-Russian and, above all, against the use of the Russian language, activities and laws of Ukraine, to which Crimea belonged under state law. After the coup against the democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych on the Maidan in Kiev, they organized a referendum and decided by a large majority to be reunited with Russia. In response, the UN, by an additional three votes, declared this referendum invalid under international law and imposed sanctions on Crimea. Since then, Western travel agencies have been allowed to stop offering trips to Crimea. But that is not bad, it means less money for the Western terrorists in the end.

The Swallow's Nest

We should go anyway, because, as always, the little people suffer as a result of the sanctions. Tourism brings money what can be known. From the hotel, restaurant, taxi driver and the Blink Blink seller. But also the winegrowers, who are a real alternative to champagne as well as the fishermen. Crimea has a lot to offer and people are hospitable and helpful, something unknown in the Western states.

Arrival

First of all, a visa for Russia is required. But this is not a big problem for Germans. The price is not very expensive at 90 €, there are also agencies that take over. Due to the sanctions, the German hypocrite does not fly directly to Simferopol. However, you can book the flight with Aeroflot from Moscow and also pay. Russia no longer lives in the Middle Ages, even if the Springer Hetze and the Nazi weekly show, the Tagesschau would like to convey this.

Airport Simferopol

In Crimea, credit cards do not work, nor do the ATMs. So you should exchange cash in Moscow, but you can also exchange euros for rubles on site. Car rental is also available, this can be arranged in advance also pay online with credit card.

For navigation, you should buy a mobile phone card in Simferopol and then work locally on site with a corresponding navigation on your smartphone. The cards cost less and all work fast. If you need help ask the car rent. They will help you. In hotels, restaurants and bars there is also public wifi.

It would be handy if you have a little knowledge of the Russian alphabet, the street signs are all written in Russian. But with a little English and asking through, you also get along very well.

Hotels

Those who put on full board with slaves worth a service would have to go to the usual tourist areas. There is no such thing in Crimea. In Crimea there are hotels run by families. Which is more personal and is not designed to crawl ass. Here you still have to be self-made woman/man.

Garden from the Hotel in Jalta

Crimea has always been popular

Crimea was until 2014 a classic tourism country for guests from all over the world. Most of the guests came from Ukraine. However, after Crimea reunited with Russia in March 2014, the Ukrainians were absent. In the meantime they are coming back, obviously it doesn’t matter to large sections of the population of Ukraine, whether the holiday paradise now belongs to their own country or to a neighboring country even if the western despots in Kiev do not like to see it. As early as 2018, there were again more than one million Ukrainians who spent their holidays in Crimea, and in 2019 it is likely to be more than two million.

Since 2014, however, more Russians have been coming. The peninsula in the Black Sea is for them an ideal holiday destination: not too far away, same language, same currency, fantastic beaches.

Since the spring of 2014, however, almost all of the tourists from Western countries have been absent. Due to the sanctions, tour operators are no longer allowed to offer trips to Crimea.

Individual trips can be made despite the sanctions. If you want to stay individual, have as much contact as possible and see much more of Crimea I can recommend this travel.

Attractions

A popular destination on the southern coast of Crimea is, for example, the Vorontsov Palace, a few kilometres west of Yalta. The palace was built in 1828 and was architected by Erward Blore, who was also one of the architects of Buckingham Palace in London. The north facade is neo-Gothic, the south facade is Moorish, the interior is now a museum on the history of the Princely House vorontov. Churchill and his delegation were present here at the Yalta Conference in 1945.

Vorontsov PalaceVorontsov Palace Park

Even more famous than Vorontsov’s Palace is the Livadija Palace in Yalta, where Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin discussed and decided on the new distribution of Europe in 1945.

One of the “musts” of a trip to Crimea is the port city of Sevastopol. The southernmost bay of Sevastopol “Chersones” is the starting point of the Russian Christianization.

ChersonesusChersonesus Cathedral

Kerch, too, is a “must”. At least two sights are on the itinerary: the so-called catacombs, in which thousands of soldiers and civilians had entrenched themselves during the invasion of the German Wehrmacht – and were eventually shot while fetching water, or thirsty and starved. There is hardly any other memorial in Europe that so impressively recalls and can demonstrate the horrors of war.

But of course the new bridge, which now connects the Crimean peninsula with the Russian mainland, is also really worth seeing and being used.

Kerch Catacombs

The inner Crimea

Interesting in Crimea, however, is not only the coastal region. The region around Bakhchayaja is particularly interesting. This is the cultural centre of the Tatars. On the edge of Bakhchayaja there is also the oldest Christian monastery in Crimea, a 15th-century monastery built into the rocks, the “Assumption Monastery of the Caves” in English. The monks living there are happy to show interested people some rooms inside the rock. What has happened here in Bakhchayaja and in its surroundings of 20 kilometers in the last centuries would be material for a dozen books or more.

Unfortunately, there was no longer enough time to visit Mangup Kale, only about 20 km from Bakhcyssaraj. Far up the mountain you can see the remains of a huge fortress with more than six kilometers of walls, originally built by the Khazars, a people who converted to the Jewish faith in the 9th century. After the disintegration of the Khazar rule, however, the fortress was used by the Karäern as a place of escape. The Karäer are a particularly religious Jewish sect, whose members were not declared subhumans by the Nazi leadership in Berlin in contrast to the “normal” Jews during the Second World War. They should thus be motivated to participate in the occupation of Crimea and southern Russia by the German troops. Eventually, however, hundreds of them were murdered by the SS on the front line. The Nazi shearers on the ground had little sympathy for the differentiated classifications of the Jews, Khazars and Karäer by the Nazi commanders in Berlin.

Tataren MuseumFelsen Kloster

Crimea and recreation

Flying only to crime and sunbathing to Crimea would be nonsensical, even because of the relatively long flights. If you like to mix your holidays, want to see something in one day, but prefer to be on the beach on the other, you are not wrong with Crimea. Along the south coast there are dozens of beaches that invite you to swim: beaches away from towns and villages, without any infrastructure, and beaches with coffee shops and other amenities. As far as the public toilets on the beaches are concerned, full praise would go by. There is still some catching up to do on this point.

Hiking and MTB Driving is a way of lifeBeach of Phoros

Return

The fact that you have to fly back to Western Europe via Moscow from Crimea is a bit cumbersome, but you can make this must a chance. Moscow is a wonderful city and you will find cheap hotels, taxis, restaurants and everywhere there is expert and foreign language help to look at different destinations.

Saint Basil's CathedralView to the sky in Moscow's business center