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Travel adventures in Crimea

My first travel to Crimea happened when I was seven years old and came to my aunt in Alushta. During our first visit we lived in Crimea since May till September and then came back to Kiev... Twenty years have passed, and I am still feeling great love to Crimea, its gorgeous mountains, fragrant plants and the sea. I keep visiting it again and again and discover new places each time. It’s quite a budget travel when you can spend $200-400 for two weeks, get on the train in Kiev in the evening and arrive next morning at a different world with its climate, hot sun, delicious fruits and the sea...

Small towns at Crimean southern beach (Yalta, Alushta, Simeiz, Foros, Alupka) astonish me by unique tropical plants, old mysterious mountains, numerous entertainments and attractions for tourists and delicious food at national Tatar cafes... The eastern beach of Crimea (Sudak, Koktebel) attracts more paraplane jumpers, mountain climbers who prefer wild nature, divers and camp tourists. The western beach (Yevpatoria) has wild nature with planes, strong wind, peach gardens and high waves. It’s the favourite place with wind surfers and divers who are not fastidious to the living conditions and can actually live in a camp and sleep on the rocks.

I actually travelled to all the Crimean beaches several times and find each of them very special and attractive. Here I am writing about the most remarkable experience I got during my travels to Crimea. It will possibly help those who plan to have rest at this peninsula and can not choose where to go to.

Kara Dag adventures (Crimea Eastern Beach)

I am fond of active rest, when you do not lie on the beach all days long, but walk, discover new places and climb mountains. When I stayed at Koktebel with some friends, we decided to visit Kara Dag mountain national park. That was a courageous decision to walk 10 km in the mountains during that hot summer day, some of the friends even wanted to stay at the sea beach, but curiosity to visit Kara Dag prevailed. We took a few bottles of mineral water, went by bus to Biostation where the excursions usually begin and waited for our guide at the shadow of the trees together with other travellers...

We had around half ah hour of spare time before the beginning of excursion and in the meanwhile went to visit Crimean insects museum at Biostation. I watched the exponents with a mixture of curiosity and disgust and learned that there are no poisonous snakes in Crimea and the only dangerous insect in the mountains is Black widow. Then we began climbing rocky Kara Dag mountain following our guide who was a tall and lean suntanned man wearing large hat. He told us that Kara Dag means “Black Mountain” and it is a former volcano. During the whole way up the mountain the guide made stops and told the group about different plants, insects and small animals we saw on the way.

After a few hours of walk we saw a gorgeous panorama of the sea with Golden Gate rocks. There were grey steep rocks on the top of the mountain as well and one of the friends decided to climb the highest of them to make a photo. I already imagined all the difficulties of calling the emergency in case he falls from the rock and tried to persuade him that he had already got around 20 photos where he stands on different rocks :).

A few kilometres later we saw the sign “entrance prohibited” it was the ending point of excursion. Then the guide showed us another path down Kara Dag which led to Koktebel, but we were too curious to see the prohibited part, lagged behind the group and then went by the small path leading to the prohibited part of Kara Dag. The path was much smaller than the tourists path and we could hardly see it in the dry grass. We walked and watched large birds and the sunset, but suddenly it began to turn dark. It gets dark in the mountains very quickly that’s why we decided to return to the path to Koktebel. On the way back we heard some strange loud noise on the right. The guide had told us about large animals like wild pigs which inhabit Kara Dag, so we walked cautiously and breathed with relief as we got to the wider road leading down the mountain. It was already dark and the stars shone on the sky when we got down.