On route to the Ukraine
Our World | On 07, Apr 2011
… So, 4am wake up (did you know that statistically more people die between 3 – 4am than any other time of the day?… me either, but apparently I’m not one of them today;) off to LHR for a shockingly early flight to the Crimea (via Kiev).
Breakfast in BA lounge… half empty flight to Kiev… bliss, then a very strange arrival process. Firstly, the arrivals area was a tad more modern than I expected, and there were NO landing cards to process, no Visas to buy… very easy indeed.
I got my British passport stamped at the Ukrainian citizen desk, then attempted to find my terminal for the domestic leg from Kiev to Simferopol.
I’m supposed to go from Terminal A (am now in Terminal C), which was “joost 500 meterz avay”. I got there via Terminal B, which had a big bugger of a sign proclaiming Terminal A on it (and even had my check in gate 8 on the screen). Apparently I was to “valk anoozer 200 meterz” – to a cow shed! There I met my clients in a standing only waiting area (that’s a lie, there were seats – 20 of them!)
The terminal was a perfect expression of communist concrete ‘functional’ structure!
So, we land at the world’s smallest airport – Simferopol for the Crimea. It was minuscule and ever so cute (lots of official ‘types’ with massive hats on, you know the ones…they make all heads look like peanuts). We saw the private VIP areas that we may use for our group if we use it (very clean, but a bit like granny’s best reception room).
So, one hour later – we arrive in to the seaside resort of Alushta, which looks kind of nice even though its a tad foggy. It is a seaside town with a bit of life, bodes well. The drive was pleasant and uneventful, which is great as we are looking at the destination for an auto company.
I have to say that we have been looked after like royalty by the GM and staff of the Radisson Blu, they clearly want the business and they have been a pleasure to work with. The rooms here are very much for the local market – lots of swirls, faux French aristocratic-ness. First time I’ve seen a moosive TV in ages! Still, how bad can a spacious room, over looking the Black Sea be? So far, honestly not bad.
So my bed calls, tomorrow is another day and I have to face driving routes and a flight to LHR via Moscow without a visa (which, apparently is not required!). Wish me luck.