I went to Backchisarai yesterday, with plans to stay the night in a guesthouse. When I got off the bus to find the guesthouse, though, no one was there and the house looked a little abandoned. Fortunately, there was a kind Ukrainian woman who showed me where I could sit, eat, drink some coffee, and make a plan of action. She offered to call someone for me to stay with, but I decided to go back to Sevastopol. I asked her how I could go to Chufut Kale – a cool cave city in Bakhchisarai. She said it was really difficult to walk, especially because I had a backpack, and that it was expensive to take a jeep. So I decided to just take the bus back to Sevastopol and go to the beach or something. While standing near the bus stop, however… The woman (Tanya) introduced me to Timur, a guy selling tours up the mountain. He was talking to an American girl and a Russian woman, who were trying to haggle the price down. We successfully got a tour for $8 a person up the mountain, in which Vadim would drive the jeep and drop us off at the top of the plateau for an hour.

Meet Vadim

Our new group of three walked around the cave city, admiring the men playing guitar and flute in one of the rooms.

There were lizards everywhere, which was sort of cute I guess.

We met up with another person from the US and had lunch at a cafe, called Pushkin (Pushkin wrote a famous poem about a fountain in the city), where we had bread, spicy sauce, plov, veggie skewers, and weird salty kefir.

We bought some sweets from a lady in front of the Kahn’s Palace (which we didn’t go in because it was expensive), and then went back to Sevastopol together.

We had a lovely dinner, in which the Russian woman practiced her English by talking about communism, why Siberia is awful, human nature, and the connection between food and culture.

PS Mom – I know you like rocks so here are pictures of huge rocks. I figured you would like this place, except for the heights.


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