Sunday was a beautiful day here in Yalta on the Black Sea. This is a busy resort town with a seaside promenade and lots of vacationers from the North (Russians, etc. not other Western Europeans) enjoying themselves. The water is warm and clear if a bit rough at times. There are beaches for people to sun themselves and go swimming.
We started Sunday with a trip to Libadia Palace (The White Palace), the site of the famous Yalta conference that took place in February of 1945. Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin came together to discuss the course of the war and make plans for the postwar era at that conference. The palace is a beautiful, sparkling edifice made out of while limestone. The first floor is dedicated to the conference with many photographs in each room showing participants in the various meeting rooms. The palaces was built by the last Tzar Nicholas The Second in the early 1900s. The second floor of the palace contains photos of the Russian royal family in the various rooms.
Later in the afternoon we visited the summer home of the writer Anton Checkov, who came here to Yalta briefly around 1900 for his health. He stayed only a short time in Yalta before returning to Moscow. The home features a lovely garden and contains many of Checkov’s family possessions including a piano on which Rachmaninoff played accompanying the great singer Chaliapin.
We will take another excursion this morning before setting sail once again. Our course will take us across the Black Sea to the Dneiper River, where we will begin out trip Nort to Kiev.