Sunday, August 9, 2009

Crimea River

Day 515
The train arrived in Simferopol, the Crimea, at 4:30 am. I had thought that this was the last stop so I had put my bag underneath the bottom bunk. I felt really bad when I had to wake up the nice woman who had made my bed to get my bag out.

I then went and tried to buy my exit train ticket. First I had to wait about 30 minutes for the woman to get off break. When I gave her the city name and dated I wanted she wouldn't sell it to me and went thru some long speech instead. When I didn't understand the bitch just shrugged her shoulders, she couldn't even be bothered to point or give me a window number. Severely irritated I found the information window. The nice woman there walked me to the office I needed, it was actually out of the train station and didn't open until 7 am. I had two hours to kill. I sat in the McDonald's until it opened. I was the second person in line and had my ticket in minutes.

I then had to wait in a rather long but quick moving line for a bus ticket to Sudak, my Crimean destination. While in line a taxi driver tried to convince me that the ticket cost $50 and that if I went with him it would be $40. I laughed in his face. I wasn't in the mood for this. In the end the ticket was just over $3. After another 20 minute wait I was finally on the bus. I was really exhausted and thought that I would be able to sleep. It was just far too bouncy and I stayed awake for the whole 2 hour ride.

It used to be quite normal in smaller towns with limited accommodation options for older women, mostly widow's, to rent out a room or two for a few dollars. I hadn't done this and was looking forward to it and went with the first old woman who approached me. It turned out to be an actual hotel and not a house. I was a bit disappointed, but at least I had my own room for once.

At this point I was so tired that I basically collapsed into bed for a couple of hours. When I came to I was ravenous and went in search of food. The first place I found was a communist style buffet. the line was long but the people were friendly and I ended up with a really good lunch.

I then wandered down to the beach front. It was really like any typical beach town. The whole thing seemed rather corny compared to the American version. Plus, there wasn't anyone selling funnel cakes. There were, however, lots of people selling wine out of barrels. The Crimea used to be the play ground of the Russian Czar's, some pretty good wine comes from here.

I walked until I found a rather nice castle that I was too lazy to walk up the hill to get a closer look at. Instead I screwed around in the Internet cafe for some time before visiting the supermarket for some of that yummy wine and dinner. That evening I didn't get too far into my bottle, I was tired and it knocked me out almost right away

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