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Crima, Ukraine Recommendations from a recent trip

We highly recommend Eugene's tour services for anyone going to Crimea (www.aroundcrimea.com). He picked us up at the train station and found one of the few places open for coffee in the morning. He listened to what we liked to do and the amount of time we had and recommended an itinierary for our stay in Crimea. This included two day tours that he took us on and "hang out" time in a few cities. He even helped us find apartments within our budget. Most importantly we had our five-year old son with us so the trips needed to be fun. The day tours that he took us on were so much fun and some of the best on our trek through Ukraine and Eastern Europe. He even created a "treasure hunt" for our son which had us exploring the countryside of Crimea. We went to one of the cave city ruins that our son could hike up to (did a treasure hunt and picked rose hips), Bakhchisarai, and local memorials. We then stayed in Sevastopal for a few days exploring the town and the ruins at Chersonesus. We have great pictures and memories. Eugene came and got us when we were ready to move on to Yalta and we stopped at many places on the way to Yalta as well. We were in Yalta at the end of November. The weather was slightly chilly but beautiful. The boardwalk still had plenty of things to do, the restaurants and the food market were all open. Just a great place to go - in late November.

Best places to take a 5 year old in Crimea: puppet show in Simferpol, hike of the cave cities and treasure hunt (if you go with Eugene), explore Chersonesus (plan for hours), explore the boardwalk in Sevastopal (the navy museum can be interesting for a slightly older child - be prepared to explain why all of the boats have guns on them), the local food market in Yalta, and rock hunting on the beaches in Yalta, riding a kids electric car next to McDonalds and a statue of Lenin in Yalta, and (skip the cable car in Yalta).

Best Place to eat in Yalta: In the back of the outdoor food market there is a little cafe. The owner makes Pilaf out front and shouts "Pilaf" when it is ready. Peope appear, order, and it disappears quickly. The food is cheap and it was easily the best Pilaf we had on our trip. We went back several times. They also had several people making fresh squeezed pomegranate juice and had jars of green jelly. I have no idea what the green fruit was that they made the jelly from. But they said it was good for you to eat every day and it tasted very good.

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