Day 5, Feodosiya

If you have read Chekhov's Lady with a Lapdog, you'll have some imagination of what Yalta might have looked like in the 19th century. Yalta is nowadays transformed into a mini-Benidorm, but Feodosiya has the feeling of something straight out of Chekhov - you can even see gentlemen wearing Chekhov style hats wandering along its leafy boulevards. Feodosiya is the hometown of the Russian (Ukrainian) answer to Turner: Aivazovsky. The town is a magnet for artists, or pseudo-artists and one of the main industries is the sale of kitsch paintings. As far as I could make out, I was the only tourist around - I was alone in the main hotel - so the painting sellers were in for a sore disappointment. Feodosiya is also a port, and scene of a major parachute regiment attack during the Great Patriotic War. I met this gentleman who was working in the port in an alley of sculptures to the heroes of the landings:

Echoes of Aivazovsky. Paintings for sale everywhere, including in this hotel corridor:

Et In Arcadia Ego. The promised land in the form of a fake-greek-temple-night-club dominates the centre of town. Volodya is a professional climber who was visiting from Moscow:

Last time I stayed at this hotel about ten years ago it cost a couple of dollars for the night, it was a bedbug-ridden, peeling wallpaper, no hot water - in fact no water at all at some hours wreck of a Svoiet hotel. I've come back. Now the lowest category of rooms (there are five), the one called 'standard', looks like this. The price has gone up: