We are in Sevastopol today.
Amused to find ourselves moored alongside the Black Sea Fleet, we sat at our breakfast table watching each ships company stand to attention as the 8am reveille was sounded and flags unfurled. Bells rang out too. A great way to start the day.
We had a full day of activity planned, starting with this monument right by our ship – a memorial to the scuttled ships of 1854. Various landmarks were pointed out to us but quickly we were back on the coach and off to Chersoneses. You’ve guessed it….the Pompeii of Ukraine.
To begin with, we thought it was little more than a collection of dusty mosaics and amphorae. But, walking out to the coast, we could see it was so much more.
The sea breeze made the rising temperature a little more comfortable and we wandered happily about the site, particularly enjoying the sight of a few local children enjoying themselves diving off what is probably an ancient Greek/Roman pier. On a warm day, what better place to be?
As we sailed into the port this morning, we’d seen a fine church standing high on a hill outside the city and it was to St Vladimir’s Cathedral that we came next.
Modern and decorated in a contemporary style, it was another highlight. Downstairs was a fairly simple church with a modern iconostasis and beautiful murals. Upstairs was altogether richer with highly decorative patterns on each wall. Borders were variants on celtic knots and arrangements of different crosses in natural earth colours highlighted with gold. What I had imagined to be stained glass panels in the windows turned out to be simply etched, which gave the whole place a light and airy feel.
Finally, to the museum, by which time several of our fellow travellers had grumped off to sit in the shade. They missed some of the best bits!
I have a thing about fragments and love to find designs like this. There were several such remnants of wall decorations and keeping an eye on the clock (again) we lost no time in recording what we could.
Treasures indeed. Around the corner, another clever museum designer had done marvels with a few bits and pieces, arranging them in such an attractive way, I thought.
Gorgeous shapes, clearly displayed, perfect to sit and draw. But no time.
As the good people of Sevastopol went about their daily lives, we drove to see the work of Franz Roubaud, a rather talented Russian artist.
It was so magnificent, it deserves a post of its own.