Monthly Archives: March 2014

Crimea: August 2013.

This is me, at the Swallow's Nest, the castle on the rock, near Yalta, Crimea, August 2013.

This is me, at the Swallow’s Nest, the castle on the rock, near Yalta, Crimea, August 2013

When I drink my weekend coffee, I always select a different mug from my collection, from the various places I’ve been to on my travels. Yesterday, I picked one from the spectacular castle in Yalta, Crimea, the Swallow’s Nest, perched on a rock above the sea. “Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine” is written around the top of the mug, and I’m left wondering whether that will become a collector’s item.

The Swallow's Nest, near Yalta, Crimea.

The Swallow’s Nest, near Yalta, Crimea.

At the time of writing, the situation in Crimea is increasingly tense, with the UK’s Foreign Office advising all British nationals to leave. I consider myself lucky to have managed to see this beautiful part of the world in August 2013. Crimea has a striking combination of sea and mountains. Continue reading

Crimean Journey, Part 2: Alupka Palace, Mountains and the Swallow’s Nest

The park in Alupka, which I walked through to reach the palace.

The park in Alupka, which I walked through to reach the palace.

Alupka Palace, commissioned by the anglophile Count Vorontsov in the nineteenth century, has many features which resemble an English country house. Churchill, and the British delegation must have felt at home here at the wartime conference in February 1945.

Alupka Palace, commissioned by the anglophile Count Vorontsov in the nineteenth century, has many features which resemble an English country house. Churchill, and the British delegation must have felt at home here during the wartime conference in February 1945.

After a night in the guesthouse, I headed out early to try to find a place for breakfast, and had a strange meal of pastries in a self service restaurant. After breakfast, I made my way fairly easily downhill, along a little path, to the Alupka Palace, built in the nineteenth century. My Russian phrase book again proved vital, as I was able to ask a couple of times whether I was heading in the right direction for the dvaryets (palace).

My main interest in the palace was that this is where Churchill and the British delegation stayed, during the February 1945 Yalta conference. Continue reading