Sun, Pebbles & Sea – Yalta's Beaches
At dinner time on the cruise, it’s common for fellow travellers to share stories about their activities and discoveries of the day and recommend to each other interesting things that they had done. A couple of our friends had ventured in the direction of Primorksy Park and came across the beach and spent the morning there. They hinted that there were some very scantilly-clad sunbathers on the beach and from their expression, we couldn’t quite work out if they were surprised to see overly exposed bodies in the Ukraine or whether they disapproved of what people were wearing.. or not wearing! So off Tony and I went the next day to check out what the fuss was about.
Not far from our boat, we came across a small pebbled beach in the harbour. It was packed with very brown bodies and I must say that these people must have spent a lot of time in the sun to be that brown. Yalta is the playground for many Russian holidaymakers and in summer crowds throng to the beaches. The pebbles and the crowdedness of the beach didn’t appeal to me, but I guess for countries where the winters are long and extremely cold, you can’t blame these people for wanting to get as much sun as possible, whatever the beach conditions. As the Lonely Planet guide indicates, “Australian and Caribbean tourism chiefs are unlikely to lose sleep over the competition from Crimean beaches.”
So where are these naked bodies that our friends were referring to. Ah yes, there were a couple of topless girls in g-strings, but nothing that you wouldn’t see on beaches in the Riviera, Bondi Beach or in the Greek isles. Ukraine of course is noted for their beautiful women and these nubile young bodies must be a treat for the men to watch. So, having established that there was nothing out of the ordinary happening on the first beach, we walked further along and reached a bigger stretch of beach, which was just as jam-packed with sunbathers. There were bodies everywhere as well as lots of local restaurants and shops along the seafront. Generally, people were just enjoying a quiet time cooling off in the water or enhancing the tan of their already tanned bodies.