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My Crimean "holidays"

August 9, 2016

I had finally experienced being in the Russian resort for the first time.  Actually, I came here to work, but as you know my working in this crappy company (name and contacts on request) only lasted a week. Now I'm on vacation. 

And here are the facts. 

I've been at the beach only twice. Pebble beach, hundreds of people everywhere so you can hardly avoid stepping on someone... Where in Russia do we have so many people? I thought we have a kind of demographic crisis, a population decreases... if not come to the beach early in the morning and not take yourself a couple square meters of space there, you have a very small chance to find any free space later. 

There are a lot of options for budget travelers. I actually found a room in the private sector for 3.5 USD per day. For a family or group of people you can find a house for $ 20-25 per day. Lunch in one of the plenty dining rooms here costs 2-6 USD depending on your preferences and appetite. 

But it's all for people who are not particularly in big need of comfort. For example, if I had small children, I would never take such a risk. There are some children in our private sector, they are bored, have nothing to do, they are always cranky and noisy and do not give to sleep or rest, neither to their parents nor to the rest of the guests. Too extreme. Impossible to relax.

In hotels and restaurants, the prices are completely different. I would say they are overpriced. I worked in three-star hotel for families mostly (all inclusive, swimming pool, animation for children). The cheapest room for three people (two adults and one child) there was $ 180 per day. And this room only had three beds pushed together, a little space around, a wardrobe and tv. I can only imagine how much is the Suite there. And this despite the fact that the average salary in Russia (officially) is $ 400 per month. The prices in the restaurants are at the Moscow level or above. The same goes for excursions. They are quite expensive. But the ticket from Alushta to Yalta for bus or trolleybus costs of 0.7 USD, and they go very often, so to go and see something by yourself is quite real and quite cheap. 

In general, for comfort and nothing to worry about you have to pay a lot. If you are able to organize your holidays by yourself, you'll spend almost nothing. 

All the visitors and tourists here complain of the poor service, but honestly, I don't know what service do they expect. Everything seems more or less decent: service in the restaurants, entertainment, excursions. It's probably just a Russian habit - to complain. Still talking about the mismatch of prices and services. Of course, since Crimea became "Russian", the prices have increased significantly, but let's be honest, with the current exchange rate, you hardly can spend your vacation cheaper anywhere. Even in South East Asia prices are the same or even higher. You can, of course, say that "it could have been cheaper for compatriots" but people who live here also want to earn some money. And they only have a few months while there are tourists here. 

The climate is very good. It's always sunny and it smells of pine. Sea air mixed with the mountain air. Breathing here is easy and pleasant. Me personally don't like the absence of sandy beaches, waves and any water activities. But it's certainly my problem. 

A pleasant discovery for me was the Crimean wine. Never paid attention to it before and first tried it here. I really like it. The bottle of good wine costs 4-5 USD. In such a situation how can we have anything to complain about?)))

I highly recommend to visit the Massandra winery. Not with a guided tour, but by public transport from Alushta or Yalta. Or even on foot from Yalta, if you are more or less able to walks in the steep hills. And do not order the degustation. Just go to a cafe near the winery where they give you samples of 25 ml for approximately 0.5-1 USD. There you can taste exactly what you want, not what you're given and it's cheaper. 

Turned out big article. It is necessary to finish it, otherwise nobody will read to the end...))

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Inna Nikitina