Pritam Rohila Travels

Reports of my travels along with some pictures

Oct 19, 2013


This morning, under blue skies and in 60-degree (Fahrenheit) weather, we left our hotel for Helsinki airport. We were scheduled to board 3:55 p.m. Ukraine International flight for Ukraine’s capital Kiev, on the way to our final destination, Yalta on Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. 

Europe’s largest democracy, Ukraine is mostly vast plains and flat plateau with rich, fertile, black soil. For ages it has occupied an important place on land, river and sea routes from and to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Ukraine Map

Ukraine Flag

For a long time, Christian rulers of Russia and Western Europe were engaged in bloody struggle with Muslim Turkey for its domination. At the end of the 8th century, the tussle ended in favor of Russia, which ruled it until Ukraine’s independence in 1991. However, Russian people still constitute a sizeable portion of the nation’s population, and prominence of Russian language is evident in people’s conversations, restaurant menus and street signs.

About 3 hours after we had left Helsinki our 60-seat plane landed at Kiev. We had to claim our luggage for customs, and then cart it across a couple of walkways and over a few curbs to the domestic airport, to board our 9:15 p.m. flight to Simferopol.

After changing money and having a pizza dinner, we parked ourselves in the crowded waiting hall for announcement of our flight. After a long wait, we learnt the flight had been delayed till 10:40 p.m.

Later we were allowed to go through immigration to the boarding gate. After our arrival at the boarding gate, the flight was further delayed twice till 1:30 a.m. Funny thing was that none of the passengers seemed perturbed about the delays! And even more surprising was that none of the officials seemed to know why the flight had been delayed!!

Finally we arrived at Simferopol airport 4-1/2 hours behind schedule, at 3:00 a.m. The airport building was closed. Fortunately, we had arranged for airport pick up. We picked up our luggage and headed to our hotel.

Ukraina, our hotel, was an elegant, palatial Russia-era building, but without a lift. We had to walk up several steps to our fourth floor room.  We were tired and went directly to bed.

Central Court, Ukraina Hotel, Simferopol


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