Originally Posted by poiu
Thanks for a great write up. I like your positive approach.
Indeed; I second that.
Nice people, especially curious and outgoing ones, attract good experiences while travelling, like magnets, and I think that is the main thing we are seeing here
I know this region quite well myself. I've done some sailing in Turkish and Russian waters, but mostly from land. My Father (whom Poiu has met in real life) did spend a whole summer in the Black Sea years ago, on his friend's boat
Nevertheless every country is different. Turkey
is one of my favorite places in the world for travelling for no purpose other than to wander around; Turkish people are exceptionally friendly and hospitable and I love the vibe in Istanbul
(the world's first and original megapolis), where everyone is so soft-spoken and polite, with none of the shouting and squabbling you hear everywhere in Middle Eastern cities, and unfortunately even in many European ones. I've visited Turkey
probably 50 times during my lifetime; my Father was in Turkey for the first time in the 1950's before I was born.
It's a real shame that Chuck and Patty didn't manage to visit Georgia
, as this is an incredibly fascinating place, much more exotic than Turkey because it was behind the iron curtain for so long, much less developed than Turkey, but really extremely interesting and pleasant, with great hospitality and amazingly delicious food
. Georgia is a weird crossroads between the old Persian empire and the old Russian one, and you can't tell at all whether it is East or West. There is a lot to see and do there; it's a country I introduced to one friend of mine who has since spent cumulatively more than a year there -- can't get enough of it.
The coastal areas of Bulgaria I do not find all that attractive -- Bulgaria is a poor country despite the EU connection and to me it's an unpleasant poverty. The coast is being built up with very cheap
resort housing, worse than the worst in Spain
and is rapidly losing its natural beauty, I'm afraid. Much more interesting if you go inland.
I commend Chuck and Patty for penetrating impenetrable Russia
-- notoriously difficult for sailors to get into (Black Sea coast of Russia
; the Baltic
coast is completely different). I can't really agree that Sochi is the most beautiful city on earth, but I think they meant the setting, which is indeed spectacular, with the dramatic ridge of the mighty Caucasus Mountains, the highest in Europe
, coming right down to the sea, blocking North winds and creating a subtropical microclimate. It is of course a very interesting place; just difficult to enter from the sea. The Sochi Yacht Club guys are wonderfully hospitable; I'm guessing that Chuck and Patty must have fallen in with them, which will have smoothed a lot of rough roads. I've sailed with them on some of their club boats and had a great time.
Anyway, terrific writeup, and congratulations to Chuck and Patty on such a fascinating cruise!! You should put up all your photos somewhere where we can see them.