Ukr10 – The Crimea & Odessa trip #3: Sevastopol and Simferopol

Sevastopol and Simferopol are two biggest and most meaningful cities in Crimean Pennisula. Both of them have population number reaching up to 350 thousend of people (with Sevastopol gaining a slight advantage over Simferopol) and both are places of great importance according to Ukrainian history and economics, not to mention turism.

From the political point of view Crimean Pennisula belongs to Ukraine, you will see it as part of this country on the map.  However, over the centuries it was under Turkish, then Russian domination and it stayed in the ownership of the latter until the year 1954. It was then, when it was given to Ukraine as a symbol of “brotherly friendship” and political union between these two countries. After the breakout of Union of Soviet Socialists Republic (USSR) in 1992, the Crimean Pennisula was transformed into an Autonomous Republic of Crimea, with its own independent law, parlament and capital in Simferopol. What is interesting, Sevastopol is the only region politically excluded from the republic; the city and the surrounding area officially is a part of Ukraine, not the Autonomous republic. The reason lays probably in the Black Sea Fleet (Russian fleet), which still quarter in this city and therefore is supervised directly by Ukrainian authorities.

(pictures from Sevastopol)

                  

As I already’ve mentioned in my previous posts, due to its long and complicated history it is possible to find traces of various cultures in Crimea. In reference to that, Sevastopol is a place rich in Russian buildings, monuments and national heroes. There are Russian flags nearly everywhere (coexisting with Ukrainian ones), plaques commemorating important Russian events or characters, museums and of course,  the Black Sea Fleet, still being a top secret military facility with no possibility of getting even close to. What I also have to say, it is boosting with life, during the day and the night. Even though Sevastopol is not too big, it is very popular with tourists, especially (no wonder why) during the summer. As a city I might say it is also preserved in a good condition. The only thing that stroke me as a minus was – or were – countless stray cats! Nearly everywhere, small and big ones, sitting on the public benches or laying in the sun on the grass. (Digression: stray animals are a general problem in Ukraine. It was pointed out even by UEFA as a matter which is to be terminated before the Euro 2012.)

(pictures from Sevastopol c.d.)

                                       

In comparison, I will remember Simferopol as a city of negligence, chaos and wasted potential. Even though this place helds such an important and prestigous role as the capital of republic, nothing except from few public places makes you stop and admire what it owes. I barely even took pictures there – what I could see was nothing I would have liked to remember. I mean, there is a small pretty old town in the city centre and it could be extremely nice and climatic if somebody had taken proper care of it, but nobody does. Maybe this impression was created by the renovation of the pavements that was going at that time, but still – the waste was laying on the street, nobody cut the trees and grass, it was often to encounter holes in the roads and a lot of time-honoured  buildings looked as if they needed immediate repairs. The city had an extremely nice train station, as all big post-socialist cities in Ukraine have, but mostly that’s it. Still, it was in Simferopol where we found a really genuine and hospitable couch on our track and an unexpected Turkish couchfriend. : ) (I ahve to mention, however, that in general all couchsurfers we met during our stay in Ukraine were extremelly nice and symphatetic).

(pictures from Simferopol)

                                    

What also shocked me a totally, actually in Sevastopol, but also generally in Ukraine, is that people swim/sunbathe in the public places, and I mean even main squares in the city! This is completely paranoic for me, as one can simply go and use a public or wild beach for these reasons. Seeing people who dis it freely makes me wonder WHY they had chosen a place like this… if they were young and hot I would think that they are trying to atrract each other and it wouldn’t be THAT BAD. But the simple truth is that people who I saw there were mostly old, fat and it just looked disgusting. Some people were even changing clothes there, not bothered by the fact that they are naked and there’re strangers around, no comments on that…

   

From the positive side, I think their marines are soooo handsome ; ). They look cool in these uniforms (just like ours from Gdynia Maritime University), or maybe this is only my opinion that all men in suits, uniforms and generally official outfits look far more attractive ; ). So now you know why I like shopping for household appliances in Media Markt ; )…

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~ by jumikao on October 16, 2011.

2 Responses to “Ukr10 – The Crimea & Odessa trip #3: Sevastopol and Simferopol”

  1. So many good pictures are in this post)) I wonder about naked people in the parks -have never seen ’em

  2. People sunbath in public places possibly because they don’t give a.. .. fig… to the public opinion. Real independent Ukrainians)) But I have never see it in Lugansk.

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