On the Southern Coast of Ukraine’s ‘Autonomous Republic of Crimea’ lies the seaside town of, Yalta.
When I read about Yalta, I really didn’t know what to expect. I went there knowing that it was on the coast and that was enough for me.
With the pre-disposition of the past 2 months in places slathered with the Soviet brush, I really didn’t think Yalta would be any different.
Upon hitting the main Boulevard though, the place was as Western as you could get (well, the attempt at least). Boutique stores, thoughtful landscaping, overdone limestone everything, el-fresco dining.
Sure behind the facade there’s the local market and plethora of kiosks but you get my drift.
I cut the strip a few times looking for some cheap accom, but soon realized that was an oxymoron in itself: Cheap accommodation, in the best location, in the most touristed part of Ukraine? Not going to happen.
Then I stumbled upon Hotel Krim, in all its crumbling concrete glory.
Krim would have been the Hilton of its day, but its day seemed about 50 years ago, similar to the same time any of it was last cleaned properly.
But it was a stones throw from the water, my room was comfortable, the showers hot, and only $8 a night.
Looking out my window, you could almost feel the happiness of former guests, coming from such oppression, and visiting such idealism.
Wondering what its like to dip their toes in the water, trying to work out why the salt air feels different, excited by such a foreign place in their own country, and getting use to their cheeks hurting from smiling so much.
Camera: Lomo LCA
Film: Agfa Visata 400 (Expired 2006)
Location: Yalta / Simferopol, Crimea – Ukraine.