The Bridge to Crimea

That’s what it looks like right now.
They say it will be ready in 2018.
Right now all the cars are held hostage by good weather. Any storm or a strong squall, and everyone freezes in expectation. There are many ferries, which means the situation is very different than two years ago when one could spend days waiting to get through.
Now the wait is short, but the sea is the sea.
We got stuck when leaving Crimea during the storm.

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The Renovation of Gurzuf

Gurzuf was painted by Korovin, Shishkin, and Ayvazovskiy.
It’s artists’ Mecca. Even today the old town is full of artists, painting the city, mountains, and the sea. Cypress trees, fig trees, red roofs at one’s feet, balconies, cobblestoned narrow alleys.
They say that Gurzuf renovation plans include its waterfront and parts of the old Gurzuf. I haven’t seen the plan, only heard of it from those who’ve seen it. They want to take down part of the old Gurzuf, along the Chekhov Street. And want to remodel the waterfront.
My grandfather, Lev Knipper and his whole family including his aunt Olga Leonardovna Knipper-Chekhova and the writer’s daughter Maria Pavlovna Chekhova, have lived in this part of the town almost without a break. Many famous people lived and live there still. The place exudes history. These are most beautiful places, old and full of character.


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Pining for a failed tourist season

Listen, this is too much already.
In response to my posts about the massive crowds of people in Crimea, I was inundated by a whole slew of “evidence” from who knows who purporting to show there are no tourists in Crimea. “Crimean banderites” are rubbing their hands in Schadenfreude. Bad weather, photos of empty beaches at closed resort beaches, proving the absence of tourists.
Whom are you trying to convince?
Me?

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Vacationing in Crimea

Today I encountered aspersions being cast on Crimea by someone who’s visited it.
“Tickets are expensive, transportation horrible. Yes, there’s nature, and mountains, and the sea. But the infrastructure! Next year, only Turkey!”
That really hit a nerve, and I still haven’t gotten over it.
Dear me, you still don’t get it, do you? Crimea is not Turkey, or Spain.
Crimea is…Crimea. And it’s good because it’s Crimea and not something else.
If your idea of vacation is stuffing yourself with food until others have to carry you, you need to go somewhere else.
Crimea is not like that.
Crimea is wonderful because it’s wild. It will remain wonderful as long as it stays that way.
Please, don’t pave it over with asphalt!
It doesn’t need high-rises, thousands of shawarma stands and identical motels.
May it retain its sense of freedom.
Laspi, Cape Aya, the alleys of Simeiz and Gurzuf. It is unbelievably diverse–you can find anything you want there. It’s diverse, but wild! And it’s good as long as it stays that way.
Now, point by point.

The view from Bear Mountain onto Artek, Gurzuf, with Yalta in the background.

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The conflict around Artek

There was a public meeting last weekend in Yalta concerning Artek’s beaches and lands.
This is a very complicated situation.
Gurzuf’s inhabitants want to keep the beach which Artek wants to use for yet another youth camp.
The conflict is over the legal status of this sizable and important patch of coastal land.

View on the Artek camp from the Lenin monument square
(без названия)

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This kind of Gurzuf

I am fed up with the usual “will the tourists come or not” debate over Crimea.
It’s been two years, and it’s still the same discussion, as if the peninsula would obtain some sort of enjoyment from the price of sausage and the arriving crowd.
Our internet battles change nothing.
And here is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, no ands, ifs, or buts.
This is “Leningradka,” Gurzuf’s central street.
A mountain looms in the background. I know every tree on it. I remember, when I was 14, my sister and I climbed it. We didn’t know they way so we simply went up. We got only halfway because our legs were scratched bloody by the vegetation. Like fools we wore shorts. We conquered the mountain the next time, and since then the mountains of Crimea have been a home to me.


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