Saturday was a busy day for us here in the Ukraine. It was our second day in Sevastopol. We began with a tour of the city. The highlight was a visit to the hilltop fortifications overlooking the city. This was the site of two major defense of the city battles, one during the Crimean War in the 1850s and one during the Second World War. The land was so poisoned with metal from shells that new top soil had to be imported to allow for the restoration of greenery.
In the afternoon we visited the Panorama Museum, which features a 360 degree painting of one day in the Crimean War defense of Sevastopol. The painting depicts the battle scene at the fortification we visited earlier in the day. Afterwards we drove to the town on Balaclava where we visited the Cold War Museum, a nuclear hardened tunnel complex deep within a mountainside built to shelter submarines. Stalin ordered it built shortly before he died in the early 50s. It was completed around 1968 but was closed before long as it could not accommodate large nuclear powered subs. It was eerie to be there, as Dan said.
In the evening we were treated to a lovely band concert performed by the Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet band, singers and dancers. The typically Russian-sounding music was well performed.
Overnight we sailed for Yalta. We arrived at this beautiful resort town during the night. This morning we will take a city tour which includes a visit to the famous White Palace, the site of the famous meeting of Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin late in 1945.
I still can’t access my Yahoo email or post pictures here on my blog, but I hope those who are following our trip here will at least enjoy these written recaps of our adventures.