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A One-Day Trip to Sevastopol

April 11, 2014, 11:30 2677 Author: Anton Bondarenko, translated by Oxana Burns www.deti.zp.ua Twenty-two almost courageous children from a small village of Prishib made a trip to Sevastopol

It all started with the surprised eyes of a journalist working at “Channel 24”.

Its history goes like this. Two weeks ago during our stay at the coolest ski resort "Bukovel", while being interviewed by reporters of the national TV channels, one of the journalists said:

- You did well. You managed to come here to the west of our country despite the prejudices of some people. And where will you and the kids go next?

- To Crimea - I replied jokingly.

- You must be kidding! Crimea is a dangerous place to visit now. Especially with kids.

"Yeah, so we're on the right track", - I thought. Her words were some kind of incentive to arrange a trip to Crimea.

But then we had to overcome resistance - or let me be more accurate - to face stereotypical ideas of children’s parents who having watched too much negative news on TV, sometimes misunderstand what is happening. As well as to make some phone calls to the border services in Kiev and Simferopol, making sure that it was still possible to cross the border according to the old procedure without having notarized power of attorney for the children.

Pretty quickly we gathered a group of children from the village of Prishib, the Zaporozhzhye region. This was our second trip with the stars of Turkish television.

The reality was that we were awakened twice at night hearing the words: "Documents!" First, in Melitopol, and then in Djankoi. All the guards turned out to be reasonable and we did not have to wake the children for identity verification.

The train was an hour late in Sevastopol. It was much warmer there than in Zaporozhzhye. Maya Khodyreva, a fund volunteer and a tour guide, was already waiting for us at the monument to Fleet Admiral Nakhimov. She led us through the streets of Sevastopol - the city with a heroic and interesting history. While listening to Maya we felt as if we went back in a time machine in those days when the glorious city was founded, when it was undergoing many severe trials during the Crimean-Turkish War and the Great Patriotic War.

Having sailed across the Sevastopol bay, we got to the Northern part of the city. But the "Mykhaylovskaya battery" museum was closed for unknown reasons.

We quickly hurried to have lunch and then our group went to Balaklava.

First of all, we visited the Submarine Museum. Then we went for a stroll along the Balaklava embankment.

The apogee of our trip to Crimea was climbing the mountain on which Chembalo, the Genoese fortress, is located. Of course, not everyone managed to do it. Several children stayed at the bottom of the mountain, as they were really tired as the result of this eventful day.

Gradually climbing the children could see stunning views of the Balaklava Bay, and at the top of the mountain – the distance of the Black Sea, clouds and the Crimean mountains with Cape Aya headed.

Kids’ eyes were shining with ineffable joy. By the way, only 3 children out of the whole group have previously been to Crimea. For most of the kids, it was the first time when they saw the mountains, the Black Sea and ascended to the summit. Be the climbing ever so difficult, climbing down was even harder. Someone even had to go down on their bottoms.

This is how step by step the children from Prishib, an ordinary rural village, got to know the world through travelling. The next step, I think, will be a camping trip.

It is not worth talking about "dangers" and so on.

The solution is pretty simple:

1. Stop listening to mass media

2. Come and have a look at what is happening with your own eyes.

3. Be like children.

Upon returning home the happy children shared so many impressions with fellow villagers, that now we are getting ready for our next sightseeing trip to Sevastopol.

And do you still watch TV news or try to post news on your social networking sites in the most sensational and bloody way possible? Then this is paranoia. And in this case, it is absolutely necessary for you to go to the mountains or arrange a journey.

Thanks to Maya Khodyreva for nontrivial tour around the unusual city of Sevastopol.

Anton Bondarenko, traveller.

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