Monday, August 14, 2017

Crimean road trip, part I

Early spring near the sea.
A motorcycle.
An open road before you.

A former student lives in Simferopol and owns a motorcycle, which means awesome road trips all around the Crimean peninsula. I asked him if I could share some of his pictures here, since Crimea is beautiful and he's covered a lot of ground on his bike this year. (Thanks for agreeing, Sergey!)

He took these pictures in April-May 2017. You'll notice trees still dull from winter and the deserted beaches of early spring. I left the pictures in the order he took them on his travels. He sent so many pictures that I'll share the other half with you in a later post.

Храм-маяк Николая Чудотворца. The temple-lighthouse of St. Nikolai, worker of miracles. Malorechenskoe, Crimea.

The Black Sea!
Malorechenskoe, a resort village on the southern shore of Crimea.

To be continued...


  1. Breathtaking pictures! I am so afraid to ride motorcycles, but they sure sounds like a fun way to get around. A few years ago I found this blog ( which details trips across Siberia that the author took on a motorcycle. I found it really interesting!

    1. Yeah, I would also be afraid to do it in Crimea because of all the winding roads there.

      Those guys are truly extreme! A 950 mile "dirt track" between Lensk, Mirny and Yakutsk? WHOA. Thanks for sharing this, Liz. :)

      Along those same lines, did you watch Long Way Round? I heard they also went through Siberia on motorcycle.

  2. Cool photos! Makes me want to go on a road trip!!

    1. Thank you, Vesna! I'll pass that on to Sergey. :)

      You and your family could do a Macedonian road trip... imagine the pictures and experiences from that!

  3. I thought you were a friend of Ukraine. By posting this you are condoning the illegal occupation of Crimea and the suppression of the Tatar people, shame on you.

    1. Sorry to hear you feel that way, Martin! We're not talking politics here- we're looking at pictures from a person who was born and raised in Crimea.

    2. This isn't politics, don't give me that lame excuse.

      Crimea, as you well know, has been illegally annexed by Russia. Ukrainians have been imprisoned and some have just 'disappeared'. The Tatars are being supressed and imprisoned. By publishing this post you are helping to nomalising all this, you are doing exactly what Mr Putin wants. You are NO friend of Ukraine.

    3. Well, we're definitely going to disagree on this topic, Martin. I don't mind if you think that- it's your opinion and you're welcome to it- because I am a friend and huge fan of Ukraine. You've been following this blog for a while, and you should know that by now. The blog was started in Ukraine, so I blog a lot about... Ukraine!

      I don't like what's happened in Crimea, but friends and relatives still have to live there. It's not a evil place to me- it's their home. Calling it a beautiful place doesn't lessen my love and support for Ukraine.

  4. I've followed your blog for a long time, while you were still living there. I guess you could say I was living vicariously through you :) I, as a Russian born but adopted American (I was a baby) have always had a fascination with Ukraine as well as Russia. I lived there while I danced professionally (ballet) in Dnipropetrovsk, moved back stateside and ended up marrying a Ukrainian man who happened to be my partner on the stage as well as off. He immigrated to the US in the mid- 90's, many years before I ever danced in Ukraine. When he tentatively asked me if we could visit Ukraine with our then very young son and his older son I was overjoyed. Surprised him! I was so sad when I found out he had not been able to return since the year he came to the states and had not seen his father in 14 years. His father lives in Simferopol. So we spent a few summers with his dad in Crimea, as well as at least a week in Kyiv which is where he lived age 10-24. He was born in Kamenets-pidolsky which we also got to visit on our last trip in 2013. We haven't been back since everything stirred up but are planning to at least go to Kiyv this summer and figure out a way to get to Crimea to see his father, whom I adore. My son misses seeing his Dedushka, Skype just isn't the same. Thank you for posting the photos of Crimea. I can't look at it through a politicized lense either. It's too beautiful a place and has always felt like a second home. For us, it's just friends and family and wonderful summers playing chess while drinking hot tea trying to warm up from swimming in the Black Sea. I hope we get to return to Crimea this summer. I will send you some photos and postcards if we manage. I love your blog and was so happy to know there were other crazy Americans that are as fascinated with the country, culture, and Language as I am! So bellow from another 'Kathrine'! Katya O.

    1. Hi Katya, and thank you for your comment! It's nice to "meet" you here. :) By the way, it sounds like you've had enough adventures to make your own Ukraine blog (hint, hint)!

      I admire that you and your husband are making the effort to not lose touch with people and places. That's what we've been trying to do to, to varying degrees of success. Glad that those pictures brought back some good memories for you. I was super freaked out by visiting in the summer (all. the. people!!) so we mostly visited in the winter... stopped in Simferopol to see family and then traveled to the chilly, deserted cities along the shore.

      By the way, how are your language skills? It it's not a secret, do you guys use one language at home or a mixture of languages? I'm always looking for inspiration from other bilingual households. :)

      Keep in touch!

    2. It is nice to 'meet' you as well! I've thought about blogging before, as much as we travel for ballet. I've found that although I love to write, the organization part is not my forte. But maybe one day!

      I would love to visit Crimea in the winter! Mainly because the sun doesn't like me very much and I fell much more comfortable under layers! My father-in-law always knew the most amazing spots to take us so that the crowds were not as bad. I actually spent one entire summer recouping a sever lung illness at an old TB Sanatorium meant for the old party member elite and their family. It was heaven.

      As far as language skills, well they aren't too bad after I've had a glass of wine lol! I tend to be a bit perfectionistic and don't like to speak unless it's perfect, at least not in front of other native speakers. I can follow the conversation pretty fluently and will ask questions if I get lost. At home we speak a bit of both. We have a 10 year old son that doesn't speak or understand the language at a fluent level, but has decided that this school year he wants to learn. Finally. So much more is being spoken at home. His dad will have periods he will only speak in Russian to force him to use what he knows instead of reverting back to English. I also read to him in Russian and speak it when we are alone. So it is a bit of a toss up. He used to play chess with his grandfather on skype but that feature doesn't exist anymore (he was around 3 when they started) and he speaks no English. He is exposed to the language quite often though and when he speaks the little he does know it's fairly good. And of course there is Masha e Medved! He loves it and so do all of his friends. So slowly making progress!