We didn’t take any tours in Sevastopol, but instead wandered around the city and experienced a Sunday afternoon in Ukraine. The first thing we saw from our balcony was a Russian Navy ship with sailors sunning themselves on the deck. The shore side park was filled with locals socializing, swimming and snacking from food stands. One thing that really stood out was the difference in youth and adult culture and dress. In the parks young school girls wore their school uniforms with high heeled wedges while flower sellers on the corners wore mismatched and loose fitting blouses and long skirts with loafers and socks.
We walked and found some wonderful looking cafes, but Donna was not comfortable since the menus in Ukrainian gave us no clue regarding what kind of meat the dishes contained. So we had pizza. Then we walked up Malakhov hill hoping to see the famous Panorama painting of the siege of Sevastopol. No luck! However, we did get to see a wonderful panorama of the city from the hill. While we were up there the clouds opened up and we huddled with some locals in the little tented shops and snack places and tried to communicate with the locals who were very friendly.
On our walk back, we saw many naval and soviet military memorials honoring the defense of the city in various wars. Overall it was a lovely, relaxing day and we felt like we had connect a little with the local culture.
We did miss out on a few important attractions offered on ship tours. Foremost is Balaklava on the southern end of the metropolitan area. This area is the site of a famous Genoese fortress and several important battles including the tragic, Charge of the Light Brigade that took place during the Crimean War between the local and the British and their allies.
There is also a rather impressive naval museum called the Black Sea Fleet Museum, which features items from the history of the city from its founding by Catherine the Great to the Soviet era. This is a must-see for the military buff.
Off the shore there is also the Memorial to Scuttled Ships which was created for the many ships that were scuttled during the Crimean War to protect the city from the dominant British Navy.
See www.cruiseportatlas.com/Ports/SVP-port.htm for more about Sevastopol and what there is to do there.
And to see more of my Sevastopol pictures go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/72746900@N08/sets/72157628590514793/
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