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To Evpatoria!
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Author:  Markje [ 10 May 2010 10:59 ]
Post subject:  To Evpatoria!

To Evpatoria!

Saturday – Travel Day [happy.gif] [happy.gif] [happy.gif]

So I get up early for me. 6 Am (ouch) instead of my comfortable 8:30 AM. Yes, vacations you should sleep late instead of getting up early. Work is for getting up early, right? I start slowly, I already packed the day before so I have time to wake up. Then its off to the parents who will drive my car home after dropping me off.

The roads are nice and quiet and I get to schiphol airport 30 minutes early. I get out of the car, get my bags and say goodbye to the folks. I enter “Departure” hall 2. ... I step..... stand still...... utter chaos seems to have erupted. Massive amounts of people everywhere and noone is moving. So I try to find checkin counter 15/16 who should be czech airlines. A security officer tells me, the counter I am looking for has such a long line that they start in “Departure” hall 3!!!! I take one look at the line and realise I am not going to make it in time if I do it the “nice” way. The security guard won't budge of course, so I am stuck going to the lines.... whilst I am bored and time is ticking away I made it about 20 meters down the line by the time final luggage checkin is arriving for my flight. I exit the lines and ask the security guard more firmly, flight tickets in hand if I can cut the line and enter earlier. No he says, get back in line!...

Another person starts harassing the guard and I try to slip past, unfortunatly he notices and sticks out the arm to hold me back. Damnit. I am not pleased, A) I am a nice person and do not want to cut in line. B) I realise I have to catch that plane. So I explain to him again after the other woman left and we argue a bit, he also gets a bit annoyed. He takes another look at my papers and notice I already have my boarding pass, I used internet-checkin and only need to drop off my luggage... He lets me pass. Unfortunatly the time it took was too long and my baggage is no longer accepted. I had a bit of a distressed look on my face so the nice girl says to me, your luggage is not heavy. Use it as carryon luggage. So I depart towards customs with both my bags instead of 1. After a quick check through customs, I enter the gate hall and through the security checks towards the gates. This part of my trip apparently went smoothly (thank god). I enter the right gate and the woman there says I have 2 bags, instead of one. I tell her about the checkin line , she looks understanding and says: we will think of something, give me your bag please.

Flights please!

The flight left 20 minutes late, due to the utter chaos at schiphol airport. Unfortunatly on such a short flight, they were unable to catch up, leaving me only 10 minutes to switch planes in Prague. The main steward asked me to report to them before exiting the plane. I assumed it had something todo with my connection being very short. When I exitted the plane, I noticed one of my coworkers from my team was behind me! What a nice surprise, we chatted a bit, she went to skopje and I continued towards Odessa. I exit the plane and talk to the main steward. He hands me my second bag, he had kept it in his private cabin on the plane for me! How nice!. Rushing towards my second plane, which was on the other side of prague airport!... I enter the second departure gate totally out of breath, I go through security again and due to the limited time I once again have both my bags with me. Another man from Netherlands was also there, he was in much better shape and not out of breath. While I was rushed through checkin as the other plane wanted to leave, I was allowed both my bags in the plane as carry on luggage. I put the large one in the overhead bin and the small one between my legs under my chair. After take off, the woman in front of me pushes her chair back fast causing me some pain on my knees because of my long legs. Its a woman, a blonde... of course! She saw me pass so she knew I was a tall man and maybe she should have warned me about moving her chair. Oh well, rude people. I thought about my coming meeting Sunday though and could not be bothered to comment. I was much too nervous and I was afraid to make a scene whilst ..... yes I am a nice man and its not my style. I struggle a bit in my seat and with some work I manage to get my right leg on the path and my left leg to the middle seat. Charming! (not!)

After an uneventful trip, I managed to exit the plane in Odessa and after what seemed like an endless time with passport control, I went to the streetside.

My ride was already waiting for me....

Author:  Markje [ 10 May 2010 11:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: To Evpatoria!

Odessa to Evratoria

Next part of my trip, is a roadtrip from Odessa to Evpatoria.

We began the road trip around 15:15 and I was at my hotel around 23:30. The hotel was truly magnificent and checkin at this late hour was absolutely no problem. The front desk spoke only Russian at this late hour, fortunatly I had an excellent translator with me.

Apart from 1 large hole in the road which caused a heavy bump in the car , the trip was pretty uneventful and we met no large problems on the way to Evpatoria.

Author:  Markje [ 10 May 2010 11:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: To Evpatoria!

Sunday – First meeting

So, I awake at 9:30 AM , my first meeting I arranged to have at 13:00 PM.

I am nervous as hell though, so I start my daily routine to take my mind off things. Get up, notice its too late to have breakfast in the hotel, take shower, shave.. that sort of things.

By the time I finish, its only 9:45 AM... bugger. I start to read the book my sister gave me for this trip, “Orcs”. Its a nice book and after only 2 chapters, my mind wanders to the book and I am happily reading my book.

13:15 SMS from Lena, where the hell am I?

Huh? oooh shit.

I reply I shall be down shortly! I totally forgot the time because of the book! So I quickly check my face in the mirror, put on my coat and leave the key at the hotel desk. Then I head outside to meet Lena. There she is, looking at the garden on the other side of the road so she does not spot me whilst I am walking towards her. After I arrive, we head down to the beach for a long walk and talk alot. After just 10 minutes I am sure. This is my kind of lady!!! After a relaxing stroll down Yevpatoria beach, we enter a small restaurant for lunch. The food is not that good, but I only have eyes for her anyway.

I barely notice the food whilst we chat more and after we finish , it's time to explore the rest of the town. Lena takes me through the parks, beaches and important streets of Yevpatoria. My photo camera has a field day with all the nice things and statues.

Dinner is in a small restaurant. Lena doesn't like it here much, because of the too loud (bad) live vocals and TL-bars lighting. The food is ok though. We go back to the hotel pretty late. 9:30 PM.

This was one very good day. Whilst we walk in the moonlight, Lena keeps telling me she will go home and not to the hotel with me. It is not proper. I understand completely of course, no comments here.

Does she think I expect something else?

Author:  Markje [ 10 May 2010 11:01 ]
Post subject:  Re: To Evpatoria!

The view from my hotel room

The first restaurant

Being Dutch, I can appreciate this Bar/Cafe

Author:  Markje [ 10 May 2010 11:02 ]
Post subject:  Re: To Evpatoria!

Monday – Bakhchiserai

Today we goto bakhchiserai. Lena is meeting me early, around 9:00 AM , to catch the bus. One of those damn small ones, but slightly faster than a train. After trying endlessly to get myself between the chairs,I give up and take the isle seat and lena gets the window seat.

After a painful 2 hours of pure torture on the knees, we finally exit the bus in Bakh. We get a taxi to go to khans palace.

Author:  Markje [ 10 May 2010 11:03 ]
Post subject:  Re: To Evpatoria!

khan's palace

We enjoy ourselves and buy a tour ticket of khan's palace. I cant understand a word of Ukrainain though, so I take pictures of the various “plaque's” hanging besides the main items in every room. They have both english and native text. I don't think Lena has any interest in the tour, she keeps eyeing me when she thinks I am not looking. I soon depart the “tour” and start taking pictures of rooms they just passed or will pass shortly.

This gives me more time alone with the artefacts. The tour guide understood perfectly and left me and Lena alone, whilst we did our own version of Khan's palace. I even bought the merchendizing english tour version of “khan's palace” a self-burned DVD with inktjet color printer cover hehehe. Oh well, after we finish up in khan's palace, we head over to the only restaurant in town, for lunch. It was quite good and on lena's request I tried an original Ukrainian dish. It resembles blini, but with meat inside. I forgot the name. Lunch was basicly just eating and staring at eachother, which suited me fine for a while. Lena didn't seem to mind either!

After lunch, Lena arranged for us to goto Uspensky monestary. We went by foot, only 3 km according to the locals. Hmmm 3 km does not sound too bad, it should be a relaxing walk. But then it hit me, the locals forget something, namely that it was a 60% slope for the last 1 km of those 3!!! so after an exhausting experience for the both of us, we finally get near the top of the slope. I turn to Lena and say: I am tired, lets go back. She laughs and we continue. On top of the slope,.... yes you guessed it, a staircase began. Step step and more steps upwards. After a look inside the monestary, where monks are praying we decided to leave again and headed back down the mountain.

When we got to the flat area, we took a taxi back to town. Lena inquired when the bus to Evpatoria left, but it was another one of those damn small busses. I said to her: lets get a Taxi to Evpatoria. She looked at me like I was crazy. She said it would cost me! I asked her again to enquire. Taxi driver finally settled at 300 grivna's after debating with Lena for a while.

I said: ok lets go! And back we went. The taxi driver gave us a business card, shook my hand and went back to Bakh.

Monday - Bakhchiserai part 2... Dinner!

After we get back in Evpatoria, it is almost dinner time so I asked Lena what our options are. She says Evpatoria is only a small town with little amusement. they have a cinema with only russian movies, a theather (closed until high-season) and only a few restaurants. They also have a bowling center together with a kids plaything which is popular. I tell Lena we will go bowling Tuesday, it sounds like fun.

She agrees and then we select another restaurant. I liked our first lunch place, so I ask if we can go back there. We head back to the first restaurant I went to and order food at a table. What a difference with my first experience! The place was crowded and despite several non-smoking signs the entire restaurant was thick with smoke. Lena didn't like it much, I agreed with her. We ate our food quickly and headed to Planet hotel, to have a nice romantic evening together with nobody watching us.

I ordered a taxi at the appropriate time to send Lena home. I had a feeling this week was turning out great and I really liked her. She also seems to like me a lot but being a proper woman she went home early. She sent me an SMS later that her work gave her vacation the rest of the week. I imagine she liked me so much she decided to take vacation this week.

Only in Ukraine, pink food

Author:  Markje [ 10 May 2010 11:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: To Evpatoria!

Tuesday - bowling day!

I woke early after my exhausting trip to Bakh and was looking forward to my meeting with Lena. Our arranged date was 10 AM. She sent me a message at

9:45 that she overslept and wanted to meet at 11:30. Sweet revenge for her I guess [biggrin.gif] I said ok of course, and we met later in the morning. Lena was dressed in a lovely miniskirt looking great.... but not very practical for bowling! She soon realised the same as she tore her skirt throwing a ball. Her scores were nigh non-existant as all balls went to either gutter. After 4 turns I started to adjust my own game to be a gentleman. I still won the game, or I would insult her intelligence but I didn't get above 90 (bowlers, you know!).

Second rounds I helped out Lena with her game, when it was time for her turn, I threw a few of her balls to up her score. The second game ended a tie 74/74 (gee, you think I planned this? ). Lena was very happy. She said: You help me! , I replied I will always help you! our third game was easy, just finishing the time and we had a relaxing game. We thanked our hostess and left the bowling place. Lunch time again.

We had a good and quick lunch in a cafe, with a lovely romantic tea time. I ordered fruit tea and she ordered coffee. Now I absolutely hate coffee, so no kissing . We again took a stroll through Evpatoria beaches and I shot some more good pictures. After lunch, Lena wanted to go home to swap her skirt. We walked to her place and she asked me to wait outside as our relationship was still very new. I killed some time shooting photo's of the surroundings. Flowers, a cat, a lada.....

When it was time for dinner, Lena suggested Evpatoria does have 1 good restaurant, but it is very expensive. I thought: What the hell, I can use good food by now as I am very hungry. So I asked Lena to take us there.

The restaurant is named "Sankt-Petersburg". Sankt-Petersburg was a very nice surprise. The restaurant had great atmosphere, they played english love-songs all evening and we were the only guests that evening. I think it is too expensive for the locals, the pricing was comparable to a western restaurant ($30-$40 a person).

I had a tremendous good time and the food was simply super. We will return here two times later in the week. We spent at least 2 hours at dinner this time, because of the nice environment. Afterwards, the night turned chilly so we took a taxi back to my hotel. We were both tired after such a nice evening, so after some hugging each other (Yes, with clothes you perverts ), we actually fell asleep on my hotel bed together. We woke at 11:30 PM from an SMS from Lena's mother, and I sent Lena home soon after.

Wednesday , Evpatoria Day.

Lena wanted to meet early again, no objections here. [biggrin.gif]

This time we explored the salty lake near evpatoria and had a great time together. Lunch was at a sushi bar, which was not very good. Pricing was moderate, not cheap so I expected more from the environment. The food was good but the service and location were below par Sad. The company I was in, made it worthwhile though, again she was very nice and it probably gets boring for you guys as I keep repeating myself. :D

Dinner again in Sankt Petersburg, and this time there was a grand total of 1 other couples eating there. I had the same food as the day before, Lena remarked that variatian is good. (yes, I know, its spelled differently!).

Lena said that Thursday would be the icing on my cake. We would travel on a daytrip to Yalta, for a ride in the local cable car there. We went to the hotel fairly early for some private time, but I dropped her off at home 10 PM as we needed to get up 5 AM (yikes!!!!) the next day.

Author:  Markje [ 10 May 2010 11:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: To Evpatoria!

Thursday , Yalta Day!

At 5:00 I hear a vague noise coming from my mobile phone... I realise its time to roll out of bed as Lena is waiting for me soon. I wake up with some coca-cola, as I dont drink coffee and I do need caffeine for this one! Slowly, my world comes to life and by the time its 6:00 AM I am outside and Lena meets me awake and happily. Who says Russian women have difficulty waking up early!!!! happy0023 We walk towards the busstation and Lena tells me that it leaves at 7:05 AM for yalta. We go grocery shopping for some fruit juice, pineapple has become my favorite this week! She also tells me , her mother made us a picnic so we won't have to go hungry in the bus. I feel welcome and appreciate the effort. I thank Lena for caring and we enter the bus when it arrives at the busstation!

Lena still remembered what happened in the bus to Bakhchiserai suggested I take the middle seat in the last line, so I have the entire bus walkway as legspace Smiley She takes the seat to my left. The bus fills up quickly and a 40'sh man sits near the window on Lena's left. When most seats are taken the bus leaves 10 minutes early as they do not want people to stand in the bus. A couple of teenagers sit in the row in front of us and they have fun and are excited about the trip to Yalta. the man next to Lena starts to talk to her in Russian and Lena is amused , but she tells me later she did not like that man.

He asked Lena to accompany him on the tourist cable attraction to Yalta, she replied she was with her boyfriend and couldn't. hmmmm, I like the sound of that, boyfriend!. I made lots of good pictures in Yalta, so I will include most of them after the end of my adventure story. Our bus leaves Yevpatoria quickly and it takes the road to Saki. From Saki we goto Simferopol, where it will wait 30 minutes. But I get ahead of the story. As the bus ploughs along the bad road to saki, the teen in front of me to my right, has some Sprite. He drinks a few zips and then places the bottle in the overhead bin, which soon turns out to be a bad idea. After only a couple of turns, railway tracks and other road bumps, the bus managed to bump the bottle off the bin on the teen's knee. ouch!! That had to hurt!!

His friend who sat on the left (in front of Lena) called him "blina" and placed the bottle on his overhead bin, with his coat to hold it in place.... uhoh, I can see this go wrong again. It takes longer this time, but after 30 minutes the bottle had pushed the coat away all the way to another row of seats. As I don't want some innocent guy to be hurt because of their stupidity I tap his shoulder and point to the overhead bin. Lena talks to him in russian and he quickly grabs the bottle of Sprite and fastens it again with his coat.... oooh Blini! Lena has a huge smile and tells me I am a very nice man.

At Simferopol, the bus stops for 30 minutes, Lena tells me she wants some breakfast now, so we have the picnic her mother prepared for us. She takes the fish, I have the chicken. Her mother is a good cook and the food tastes good! we enjoy the sun and good weather and enter the bus at 10:00 AM when it starts towards Yalta. Everyone has the same seats, except for 2 people who left the bus in Simferopol.

Author:  Markje [ 10 May 2010 11:05 ]
Post subject:  Re: To Evpatoria!

During our trip to Yalta, The man in the window starts chatting to Lena again. She smiles at him and sometimes laughs, but is obviously not encouraging him so he soon focusses to the nice views outside. Lena spots a gorgous picture-moment outside the bus and I try to catch it on my camera. first photo: Trees... damn. Second photo: another bus .... damn. Third photo! treeesssssss Fourth try: a gas station... I despair as the moment almost passed. Fifth try: YES!!!! finally!!!!! An amazing picture of the mountain standing tall in the distance!. Our bus progresses slowly on this winding road, up and down, hairpin curves.. It seems to take forever. I do get a couple of nice shots in this part though.

Author:  Markje [ 10 May 2010 11:05 ]
Post subject:  Re: To Evpatoria!

Yalta and the Cable car

When we finally enter Yalta busstation, there is no cable car to be seen anywhere. Lena inquiers a few times with the locals and finally learns we need bus 27 to go there and exit on stop 3. We take 1 look at the queue with bus 27 and simultaniously decide we will take a taxi. one of the pictures above is from the taxi. When we finally enter the cable car ticket sales booth, we see the queue and it is 1 hour waiting.

Lena tells me its the first day the cart is open this year and because of the holidays loads of locals also want to go up the mountain. She learns the view is breathtaking and well worth the wait, so we wait.... Tak! (Lena yells at me: NO TAK!!!! I don't like it!)

After what seems like an endless hour, made so much better by Lena, one of the security guards yells at the crowd. They need 3 people to fill up the cart about to leave but most groups near them are bigger. The russians in front of us point to us and we are pushed to the front of the queue.... how nice! [happy.gif]

So we pays our money and go up the mountain.... once we arrive at the top , I am astonished. What a beautiful sight! what a gorgeous mountain peak to walk in the sun... We both stand there for a few minutes enjoying the view. Lena takes a few pics with my camera of the departing cable car.

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