Travel to Crimea
Interested in travelling to Ukraine or Crimea? Possibly you are wanting a holiday that you will never forget , or like many of the tavellers to Ukraine, you are maybe going to meet someone special, possibly a Russian women. I met a special Russian Lady on an internet dating programme called www.asianeuro.com . If you are looking for a partner I would recommend this site for ease of use and high return of possible partners. However please be aware that on all dating sites there are some scams. The important rule is never send money for any reason whatsoever. Rather go to meet the person there than send them a ticket to come to you. Well after meeting on the internet and chatting we decided to meet in person and this resulted in me planning to travel to Ukraine. Since I am a South African citizen I am required to obtain a visa from the Ukranian Embassy. The embassy requires that you have valid travel tickets and hotel bookings before they will grant you a visa. Now as I was not going to be staying at any hotel , this was going to be a problem ( personal invitation visas are available but the red tape involved is ridiculous and takes from 6 months or longer to obtain). Searching the internet I found a very usefull site , http://travel-2-ukraine.com , who for a small fee supply all the documents needed in respect of hotel bookings etc . The documents are issued only for embassy purposes and the bookings are of course not really valid. These documents are however perfectly acceptable to the embassy. Well I aquired my visa no problem.
Soon the day of travel was here and i was off to Ukraine. On arrival at Kiev I was very happy that I had in foresight already purchased my airticket to the city of Donetsk , the home of my future wife , Ira. Relying on being able to purchase a ticket at the airport is unwise for anyone who is not a local resident of Ukraine. I would thoroughly advise you to purchase your internal travel tickets prior to travelling to Ukraine. As many foreign travel agents are not able to issue tickets for internal ukraine travel , I would suggest booking online at www.donbass.aero .This will save you many problems.
On arrival at Donetsk Ira was waiting for me. Well she was all i had hoped for and more. We went to her appartment and the next evening set off for our trip to Crimea. The trip to Crimea was by train , which Ira had pre booked. Now due to it being a busy period , Ira could not book us together in the same compartment on the train . She was a few carriages away. Ira took me to my cabin which was in the business class and therefore only slept 2 persons. She left me there warning me not to leave my luggage unattended and not to go and smoke as it was dangerous. There suddenly I was all alone in a strange country where very few people had any knowledge of english at all. After a short while a strange woman entered my compartment. I thought to myself well she has the wrong compartment. In my country the train companies only place men together in compartments, never mixing male and female unless it is a married couple taking the entire compartment. Well this woman tried to talk to me but since she only spoke russian and I did not understand a word of russian , there could be no conversation. Well soon she settled and made herself quite comfortable for the night ahead, so I had to presume that she was in fact the person allocated to share the cabin with me. Ira afterwards enlightened me that there is no segregated travel in Ukraine.
Shortly before arrival of the train at Simferepol , Crimea , Ira came and joined me at my cabin. She informed me in her broken english that she had arranged for a friend to meet us at the station. The friend would transport us to the place where we would be staying for the next 10 days.
Well when we arrived , there was Eugene. Eugene greeted me in perfect english. I thought that he was actually an englishman that had moved to Ukraine. Well turns out that Eugene is Ukranian , but was operating as a personal tour guide in Crimea. Anyway , it was great to meet someone who could actually hold a decent conversation in english. Eugene was to take us by car to our holiday accomodation in the town of Simeiz. During the trip i quickly became totally fascinated by Eugene’s commentary on the surrounding area and the history behind the different things we encountered. He also convinced us to stop at a garden restuarant on the way , which was incredibly beautifull and served fantastic food. After that it was off to ride horses at the pinnacle, then onwards to our flat in Simeiz. It turned out that Ira had got Eugene to organize the accomodation for us and what a great job he had done. The accomodation was great and at great value. We had a large flat close to all the ammenities , but quite enough for us to relax. This was at a mere $40 per day. There were more modern flats available but they tended to be small and very expensive in comparison. Eugene bid us farewell but not before we organised for him to take us out on tour a few days later.
Well now our holiday had really started and there was much to explore. Well let me tell you that Simeiz and Crimea are incredibly beautifull. Ira was the woman of every mans dreams , all that i hoped for and more. It seems that russian women still treat a man as being the king and i really felt like a king. One thing I must admit that i was caught totally unaware by the total lack of english anywhere in Crimea. I mean there is not an english sign , no english menus except at the top hotels. No one speaks english. Ira had to try interpret everything to me. I felty sorry for her at every meal having to go translate the entire menu to me. I would suggest that if you are travelling to Crimea and do not have a thorough knowledge of Russian or a partner that can speak russian , you will need to have the services of a translator. This can also be organized by Eugene.
Well soon Eugene was back and taking us for tours. Eugene operates a service called “around Crimea by car”. He has a very nice ford which is air conditioned. He took us to numerous places of interest and beauty. The places I most fondly remember are Ai petri , Achansu waterfalls , Russian sauna’s at Balaklava , Sevatopal , Cave town and of course the best wa sthe Russian BBQ he organised on the back of catmountain ,overlooking blue bay and the nudist beaches far below us. What incredible scenery .
All too soon our time at Simeiz was over and Eugene came and took us back to catch the train at Simferepol station. It was sad to bid Eugene farewell but i also knew that i would be returning to crimea and would using his services again and again. I visit his web site frequently in order to keep up with his latest adventures. If you are planning a trip to crimea please check out eugene at www.travel-2-crimea.com . You will not be sorry.
Well it was heart breaking to leave Ira in Ukraine and return to South Africa. the only consolation was that on my return to S.A I would be starting the process for Ira to come to stay permanently in South Africa. Ira came to south Africa and now we have been happily married for 4 years. We return to Ukraine and Crimea frequently so that we can constantly recapture the magic of Crimea. Once again thanks to Eugene and Alexa for the great support and friendship we have developed.