Mt. Ai-Petri

I was advised to visit Mt. Ai-Petri, which towers over the city of Alupka in Ukraine. Getting to the mountain involved several bus rides – one from the city center to the bus station, where I looked around for my bus like a dope eating cheesy bread, another bus to Alupka, in which a man with a large tummy stood 1 inch away from me, and… dun dun dun – a ride up the “kanatnaya doroga,” or the cableway.

Yep. I paid 8 dollars to climb into this little cablecar and ride up a mountain. Even this was split up into two legs – and I’ll admit that once I realized we were actually going all the way up the mountain, I was terrified.

It’s fine, we were safe because we had handle bars to hold

A cablecar taking the trip down the mountain

The views from the top of the mountain were AMAZING. I overheard one kid yell to his friend, “I can see Turkey from here!” I obviously had to test his claim by squinting really hard and looking for Turkey.

A man asked me if I wanted to ride horses, so after some haggling, I agreed to go for a ride. A guy named Misha walked with me, leading the horse for most of the way.

Most of the riding was lovely – we walked through a valley of sorts and through some woods. But then, we approached this cliff so I could get some pictures, except I didn’t get off the horse. The horse was not happy about standing by the cliff, I think, but Misha took some photos (and some more photos) and showed me how the rocks were shaped like elephants, chubby tourists, and cats, which I really appreciated.

After, I went to lunch in a Tatar cafe and had some “manty” dumplings and a Coke.

There were lots of little shops around the top of the mountain, selling jewelry, Crimean wine in plastic jugs, fur boots, and DESSERTS. I am so excited for Turkey, because it means more of these delicious sweets.

I had enough money to get down the mountain, but I forgot to save enough to get me a bus ride back to Yalta. There were no ATMs at the bottom of the mountain or for several kilometers. So I walked along the road, asking shop owners at each tiny town I passed about the ATM situation. Finally (thank God) I found one, bought some water, and hopped on the next bus back to Yalta. It was so so so unbelievably crowded – we had to have broken some sort of safety laws that exist in some part of the world.

Clearly I made it back to the hostel well enough, where I enjoyed watching the Ukraine-England football game by candlelight, talking with my Ukrainian hosts and two Russian guests about politics and the differences between Russia and America. Today, I’m off to Simferopol for a night, and then tomorrow I have an overnight train back to Odessa, where I’ll be catching a plane to GEORGIA.


2 thoughts on “Mt. Ai-Petri

  1. GP says:

    Colleen, what fantastic pictures, did you get to go inside beautiful Vladimir Castle? and the food looks great. Was there anything you would never eat again? Can’t wait to see and hear about your time with the Hudson Institute Conference in Georgia. Tried to look on line for info on that conference but to no avail. Love you so much. Stay healthy and return to us safely. Love, GP

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