Daylight reveals our hotel to be in the middle of some quite beautiful mountains. Not bad. We drive down to Balaklava and tour the submarine base, which is exactly as magnificent as expected, with large hallways, the dank, musty smell of water and concrete, and sound effects to further liven up the experience. Inspired, I buy a stripy sailor shirt, of which there is an abundance—apparently a typical Crimean souvenir. We also take a small stroll around the small harbour, marvelling at the beauty of the bay and the Crimean mountains. People are fishing, swimming and sunbathing at the harbour, cats and dogs trod around lazily and nap on chalk stone stairs.
Trying to find a panorama hill, we end up in the Malakhov hill museum, instead, but it's an interesting display, nonetheless.
Ah, Ukraine, the land of war monuments, endless fields, nutty drivers, and elastic toilet paper.
The greek ruins of Cherseson and the basilica of St. Nikolaus are next on the agenda, and we spend hours admiring gardens, strolling through ruins and watching swallows and other small birds by the strand. The basilica is actually very new, rebuilt since the original one was devastated during WW2, (mostly) finished in 2001, and gives the overall impression of a tourist spot and not much else. There's a mass going on upstairs, however, which we stare at and listen to for awhile.
On the other side of the bay is a beautiful park and a boulevard, which we inspect thoroughly, then have sushi for dinner at an amazingly inexpensive restaurant with English-speaking waitstaff. At some point, a guy dressed as a cowboy and two ladies in golden sequinned mini-dresses make a sales pitch at us, and all we understand is that it's about a drink called Olmeca. After sundown the boulevard is filled with party people and loud music, there's even a karaoke stand in the park.
Two very small foxes run by the road back to the hotel.
We hope for a clear sky so we might be able to shoot stars a bit before retiring for the evening.