Captivating hills of Koktebel

Our trip from Alupka did not go as smoothly as we expected. It turned out that our friendly and sympathetic landlady is at the same time meticulous. When we gave back the keys to the apartment, she asked one of us to go with her, and she checked the apartment with him. We assume that it was for the good of both parties – to assure, that we have left none of our stuff, and we have not taken by any chance anything.

To get from Alupka to Koktebel one has to go through Simferopol. The weather that day was unfavorable – it was very cold. Therefore, as soon as we got off at the station in Simferopol, we went to the first place that offered us a warm shelter – to McDonald’s. I admit that I am not a fan of this type of places, and it is extremely hard for me to recollect my previous visit at McDonald’s. Although everything looked like in any other McD’s, I was surprised by the incredibly large selection of sauces and huge packs of French fries.

Restaurant McDonald’s
Ukrainian McDonald’s food

The wrong way

After eating and drinking we got into our bus. The driver, when he found out that we want to go to Koktebel, looked a bit unhappy. In the middle of the journey it came into light that he drove not where he should have – he just simply changed the bus route. Fortunately, we got to where we wanted. The only thing left was to find a place to sleep. To do this we decided to walk around the town in the vicinity of the sea – as we assumed that accommodation for tourists should be placed in well-located sites.

New neighborhood in Koktebel
View of the new settlements, in the background: Kara Dag Reserve’s mountains

During the march beside us stopped a driver in a large, luxurious car. Seeing us with backpacks he assumed that we are looking for accommodation, so he slowed down to offer us his resort. We thanked for the offer and turned it down, but he did not give up. Furthermore, he tried to scare us that we will not find anything, and wished us good luck. After another 10 minutes on the road we came across the locals, apparently working on some renovation. After a small talk, we asked where we can spend the night.

– Oh! Sweeties, we would gladly welcome you, but, unfortunately, we are renovating our quarters before the season, and there is no water at the moment. I am sure that you would not want to sleep in such conditions, would you? I will ask our neighbors if they have something.

And thus the news were spread among the neighbors. Many of them came out of their homes, and everyone wondered if they knew someone who could give us accommodation. Then one of the neighbors suggested that his son in law has newly renovated rooms, and he will gladly take us there if we want. Of course, we wanted to. And this is how we got to sleep in a great room with a bathroom, air conditioning and a large balcony at an affordable price.

Dirt road Crimea
Silent dirt road
Crystal clear sea waters
Transparent sea water

Clean waters of Koktebel

We still had half a day off, so we went for a walk to the seashore. The seawater was clean, the bed was visible even as we walked on the pier. On the way we met a few divers, and that made me puzzled. The day was cold, the water icy, and still someone is diving in these conditions?

Koktebel is adjacent to the Kara Dag Natural Reserve. Apparently the place is extremely beautiful, but getting there from Koktebel is virtually impossible. It is rumored though, that the only way is to bribe the guards, but it does not guarantee that one will enter. The situation is different when one is trying to enter the Reserve’s grounds from the city Kurortnoje – there one can hire a guide, and take the opportunity to see the Golden Gate. Also, the entrance to the reserve is extremely difficult outside the tourist season. However, why the Reserve is under such protection, and how are the divers connected to it? The answer is simple. Within the reserve there are large deposits of jasper, agate, and amethyst – maybe some pieces found their way with the water to the beach?

The dog – man’s best friend

During our walk a yellow dog joined our “pack”. He was very friendly, and even more – he was extremely eager to play. He walked with us for a long time, until we reached a territory of other dogs – then he left us. It was the first and not the last time when the dogs began to accompany us in Koktebel and Feodosiya. There are many of them here. All look healthy and nourished, so good people have to live here. Also, all the cats that we met in the Crimea were well cared for. All the animals here are friendly, and one should not be afraid of them.

Dogs in Feodosiya
Curious gourmand in Feodosiya

The next day we went to explore the coastal hills around the city. They are simply marvelous! In April, they are covered with flowers, which in Poland are grown in gardens: primroses, saffron, irises… It’s just beautiful! In some places on the paths there are visible white spots – it is salt. If you do not believe me, I encourage you to check it personally 😉

Spring in Koktebel
A flower from Crimea 🙂

We found a shop where one can buy original Crimean wines and cognacs made in Koktebel. They can be purchased in a decorative bottle or poured straight from the tap to a bottle that one brings with oneself. Prices are amazing! Quality too. It is also possible to drink from cups in the shop. This is what helped me to meet another talkative and open person, this time from Kazakhstan. We did not talk long, unfortunately, as my communication skills in Russian and Ukrainian were very limited, and she also was under the influence of alcohol.

The rest of the day was spent on tasting wine and sweet idleness, because the next day we were getting in the minibus to Theodosia, and from there – to Simferopol. About how very interesting a broom locker may be you will get to know in the next Ukrainian post.

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