Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sevastopol Wanderings

Today's death march through the outskirts of Sevastopol brought us to the original Greek and Roman settlements. It was worth not taking the tour because we were able to spend hours and hours exploring the ruins.

Doug even got on stage in the ancient Greek theater and entertained the crowds (reminded him of his youth - being on stage that is, not the ancient Greece part). Because this was where the first Tsar converted to Christianity, the primary focus of the site was on the Russian Orthodox religion and not the earlier Greek civilization.

In addition to an over-the-top modern church in the middle of the site, several churches and chapels had been built over the centuries from the stones of the earlier settlements. You may notice that only half of the ancient theater seating remains, the ruins of a church covered the other half of the site.

I mentioned in an earlier blog the cowboy mentality which exists here. In a way it is nice because we were able to join everyone else in climbing over all parts of the ruins. Nothing was roped off or out of bounds.

The public restrooms left something to be desired. Surprisingly, like the dried fish the other day, they didn't really stink. It would have been nice if there had been toilet paper, but you can't have everything.

Like Sochi, we aren't seeing sandy beaches anywhere. That doesn't keep the locals out of the ocean though. The shorelines were crowded everywhere we went.

Sevastopol strikes us as a much more "real" place, unlike Sochi which was clearly a resort town. I guess that being built around a naval base might have something to do with that. Also, the people here are much more friendly and outgoing.

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