One of the things I always recall from visits to Ukraine and Crimea are the bus rides. Usually they are small, 15-20 person vans, that range from full to over-packed. On this Crimean Bus Ride to Yalta, it was enjoyable and comfortable. Usually, it is not so relaxing.
Bus Rides in Crimea
Normally, this particular route has full bus loads, and the ride is sweaty and uncomfortable. Especially in the heat, and when you get a fellow passenger who has not bathed lately. In my 11 years visiting Crimea, things are improving over the past few years.
Improvements are primarily due to Russian Federation rules and regulations to ensure passenger safety. They require maintenance of the vehicles, and oversight of the drivers. The buses and drivers now have licenses, and they carry first aid kits and fire extinguishers.
Driver Customer Service
The customer service can by “typical Russian”, especially with younger drivers. Older drivers are more willing to adapt to their riders. On our return trip from Yalta to Alupka, we rode bus number 142. This bus runs along the highway above our condo, and we usually can get the driver to stop at the pathway down to our place. On this occasion, however, the driver was young and simply said “I will not stop.” There was no convincing him. We could get off at the official stop 5 km above before path, or 7 km beyond.
The Long Walk
We chose to get off before our path home, and to walk the distance carrying 4 bags of groceries, including some heavy meat and bottles of wine. I got off the bus first, and while my wife was heading to the door, the driver started to drive off because “she was not fast enough.” I had the help of another woman outside the bus, who swore at the driver loudly, and beat on the side of the bus as it pulled away. Rarely do you win a fight with a Russian woman, let alone two of them. My wife did get off at that spot.
We made the roughly 7km (total) walk carrying those bags.Though customer service has not improved over the past 3 years, at least the vehicles and drivers have.
Well, it is what it is. Life in Crimea. Back to the Crimea Sunrise.