Atlantis Alumni

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wonderful Yalta...but a rough Black Sea Crossing!

What a pleasure it was to spend two days in Yalta, the “Riviera of the Ukraine.” Yalta is another of those special cities in the world, such as Rio De Janeiro, that enjoys a beautiful natural setting. In Yalta in the background there are high mountain peaks, at lower elevations lush greenery, and finally the sea coast. Development all along the coast is in evidence with large apartment/condo complexes built or being built everywhere.

On day two we started with a tour of the beautiful Vorontsov Palace, located in Aloupka about a half hour east of the center of Yalta. The palace was built in the mid nineteenth century by Count Vorontsov, who among other things, served as ambassador to the UK. The Count engaged the architect Edward Blore, who worked, with others, on Buckingham Palace. The palace is situated near the water in an area that has striking sharp mountain peaks as a backdrop. There are extensive gardens surrounding the palace. The complex is one of the most beautiful seaside estates one could imagine.

At midday on Monday we set sail for the Dnieper River. This trip entails a crossing of the Black Sea. One of the big surprises of this “River Boat’ trip is that about half of the trip is actually a sea cruise. Before long we encountered rough seas. For the next 24 hours the boat sailed across the Black Sea with high waves pounding the bow as the boat pitched up and down. Waves and spray splashed against the cabin windows and walking on deck became perilous. The captain was forced to cancel shipboard events and our arrival at our next port was delayed by several hours. This was the roughest sea voyage that I can remember taking!

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