After a pleasant conversation with an Odessa sailor and his girl, I had a pleasant night sleep on the train. Arriving in Simferopol around noon, I had some time to explore the city. The independent type that I am, I headed straight away from the front of the train station. I wanted to find the center of the city where all of the beauty is, but, unfortunately, that was to the right of the front of the train station. Full backpack on my back, I headed out.
After walking about a half of a kilometer, I decided to ask for directions. After a few minutes of discussion about the pronunciation of the word “center,” the woman told me that I would have to go back to the train station and turn left. I thanked her and determined if I should waste all of that time to back track my steps.
I saw a bridge about twenty meters in the direction that I had been heading. I figured that, if I took two rights from where I was, that would put me at the center. A third right would put me back at the train station. My good friend, logic.
I walked on: to the bridge, and over the bridge, and then right, across the street. I found that there was a very nice sidewalk that paralleled the meandering little stream that was about fifteen meters wide. I set my feet in motion, as I began my adventure. To my surprise, I found that a park continued the length of the stream. There were weeping willow trees and other greenery, but my biggest surprises were all of the foot bridges that crossed the stream as I walked on. At one point, I realized that the stream was turning to the left. It was time for me to start thinking about turning to the right.
I crossed the next bridge, and proceeded along the steam until I saw a bridge that would take me back up to the street. I didn’t want to leave this little wonderland of bridges, but I needed to continue my journey to the center and back to the train station where I would meet my friends.
I crossed the street and turned right, heading for what I hoped to be the center. As I approached a T in the road, I saw a sign with the word Voksal, Russian for train station, pointing to the right. A bit disappointed, I abandoned my search for the center and headed to the train station. At least I had not gotten lost.
My final surprise, as I walked on, was that I found another park. This one was narrow and long, between two streets. I saw the most unique use of trees to be removed in this park. Instead of cutting the trees to the ground and removing the roots, they cut the tree, leaving about two meters in height. Then, they carved, I think with a chainsaw, a statue of a person, maybe a historical or fictional character. This was the nicest gift for me to encounter at the end of this particular adventure!