Sevastopol – one more option for a trip to the south of Russia in case you want to see the sea, get to know the history of the country, and to discover something new for yourself – for example, winemaking that now goes through the second heyday.
The Central Embankment
Seaside cities start from the embankments- it is their heart and place of strength. You can spend here hours watching the sea sparkling in the sun, the docked ships and numerous passers-by on their promenades. The embankment in Sevastopol lays for two kilometers along the center of the city – with views on the sea, lots of monuments and buildings. The most known of them is surely “Monument to Sunken Ships”, a little rock 20 meters from the bank with Corinthian column with flying eagle on top (there are dozens of legends in the city about when the eagle will finally start to fly, but the bronze bird is still on its place). Right across it, on the shore, there is a memorial sign, devoted to the participants of the armed rebellion led by lieutenant Schmidt; a bit further you will see the sundial, and from it you can go down the stairs right to the sea, where waves crash the granite and sprinkle water on those who stand there a bit longer.
Chersonese can be reached both by car and by public transport – buses # 22 and # 10 leave every half an hour. Only three kilometers and here you are, on the territory of the old Greek polis: antique nature and white columns of ancient temples around you. In museum and preserve Tauric Chersonese you can have a tour along the remains of the Greek city – walk along the main street, take a look at the old theatre ruins, admire mosaic that used to be simply the floor, remember something from Homer and tell the story of Odyssey to the columns.
The Saint Vladimir Cathedral will tell the story of the last several centuries. It was built in honor of Christianity adoption by knyaz Vladimir. A magnificent building has seen a lot on its age and was partially ruined, but now it looks like its original variant – with murals, dusky coolness of vaults and calming church service.
And after a day at the ancient city, you can go down to the local beach Solnechniy, take a bottle of bought in advance “Stariy Chesonese” and meet the sunset as the ancient Greeks, Byzantines, and Venetians did.
If you have time definitely visit Balaklava. Officially it is considered to be the area of Sevastopol, but it looks more like a separate small city with its features and beauties, the main of which is the bay. According to researches it is the outpost of ogre giants, whom Odyssey and his team met. Nowadays you won’t find anything that scary in the bay, only great variety of flotation devices ready to take you for a short sea cruise or leave you at the wild beach for a day. Before choosing a boat, take a walk along the shore and study the prices – a trip on a small skiff might happen to be cheaper than a place at big boat.
Convenient location of Balaklava was liked not only by ancient military leaders but our contemporaries as well – today anybody can visit a once closed top-secret military complex for submarine maintenance “Object 825 GTS”. According to the builders’ idea, the complex was situated inside the mountain Taurus: the premises were caved in stone itself and were covered by reinforced concrete – the complex was so well strengthened that in case of direct nuclear strike it could not only store 3 000 people (the population of the city at that time) inside but also self-sufficiently function for three years: there were well-equipped command posts, bakeries, premises for storing goods, petrol, oil and lubricants, hospital, accommodation for personnel, canteens, kitchens, bathrooms, showers and even recreation rooms. Nowadays here you can hide from the day heat and feel yourself inside a film about James Bond – evil corporations usually have their head quarters in such bunkers.
Real pirates drink rum, and real romantics drink sparkling wine. This is why having come to Balaklava don’t forget to go for local sparkling wine tasting: firstly, tastings are always fun, and secondly, no one likes the wine snobs. The vineyards of Zolotaya Balka started from knyaz Lev Golitsyn who poetically called the local valleys The Crimean Champagne and created here the first wine cellar. The production of sparkling wine was on in Soviet times, so it is now – Pino and Chardonnay grapevines are grown on this territory, and it is these classic sorts that form the basis of the blend of “Zolotaya Balka”. Several types of Muscat, semi-dry and dry champagne wines and red sparkling wines are available for tasting. And after that you can walk along the shore and admire how more obvious the beauties around you have become.
Volki-Ovtsy (Wolves and Sheep)
A quick meal can be bought right in the center of Balaklava: there is a bright yellow food truck near the hotel “Homer”, where you can find tasty and not expensive street food, that can be taken away with you for a walk. On the menu there are “pockets” from ciabatta with different fillings – from meat variants to vegetarian (the price is around 230 rubles), couple of soups and salads, and desserts. Also they offer take-away coffee, and it being a winery district, they have a wine list as well.