Saturday, June 13, 2009

Along the Black Sea coast

From Sochi, June 15th 2009.

My impression of Black Sea is first set in the city of Novorossisk, not far east from the border with Ukraine and Crimea. Important harbour, it is a good base to discover the region and understand key industries here: cement, oil, and military affairs. Indeed, the Russian fleet of Black Sea is no longer welcome in Ukrainian harbours and will therefore relocate in the next months and years to Novorossisk.

Despite the fact that they are made of stones (except in Anapa), beaches are comfortable, well organized and pleasant. All the local youth is meeting there on afternoon, jumping and swimming in an unhibited joy.

The city is also rich in memorials, celebrating the hard battles and important victory of Red Army against Germans in 1942 and 1943, gaining ground back in parallel with the victory of Stalingrad.

The region is also famous for its champagne, better said sparkling wine. The production is made since ... in the village of Abraou-Diourso and its beautiful peaceful lake. After the visit of the factory and inventory room, a session of wine testing makes me discover the 6 variants produced, the brut one being the best one by far.

With my active and nice host Kirill and his friends, i could enjoy the pleasures of the sea with an evening boat trip in Novorossisk bay, and a camping one-day trip to Guelendjik for marine and fishing and campfire.

The last day was dedicated to Sochi, now internationally famous for the upcoming Olympic Games that will be organized in the nearby mountains. The resort is nice, agremented with lots of beautiful and rich parcs, and well organized for families with children.

And a good sense of humour with the naming of restaurants :-)

It is now time to go from the Black to the White Sea in Arkhangelsk and Murmansk, where we will be talking about our last endangered animal species, specific species of whales.

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