Show Your World – Ai Petri

Welcome to Show Your World blog event! Today, I will tell you about a breathtaking mountain in Crimea and you are welcome to submit your stories about your favourite beautiful places, which I will share on my blog and social media in a round up.

Main guidelines:

– tell us about an interesting place – it can be somewhere in your home country or a destination that you visited
– instead of just giving us facts about this location, use your words to show it to us as well – the way it looks, sounds, smells, conveying its atmosphere; photos are always welcome!

Show Your World is a monthly event – I will publish my own story every 1st Friday of a month and everybody’s welcome to place a ping back to this post. I would collect these links and post a round up on the 3rd Friday of a month (it’s 19th of June this time), sharing all the links and short descriptions of submitted stories. I will also share the links and images on my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Please, let me know your social network names, if you want me to tag you.

I am also sending out notifications on Twitter on the day I post the prompt post, to which you can link, so if you want to receive such a notification – please, leave your username in the comments.

Make sure that you add ShowYourWorld tag to your entries, so that others can easily find you.

You can use this badge on your blog or on the post, which you submit:

ShowYourWorld

As some of you may already know, I like telling you about Crimea – one of my favourite places. You can read the previous posts I wrote about Nikitsky Botanical Garden and a village nearby Yalta. Today I will write about the highest peak of Crimean mountains, Ai Petri (you can actually see it on the badge of ShowYourWorld event above).

Over the centuries, Crimea was home for a large number of various nations. The oldest inhabitants, Tauri, lived by war and plunder and gave Crimea it’s original name, sometimes used at later time by Russians, – Taurida. Later, around XII century BC, came Cimmerians, then Greeks, Scythians, Romans, Goths, Huns, Byzantian, Khazars, Armenians, Mongols, Genoese, Adyghe, Turkish Tatars and later Russians and Ukrainians. Most of these people left traces of their culture in Crimea, be it in names, buildings or traditions, making Crimea not only beautiful geographically, but also fascinating from a historical point of view.

Ai Petri got its name from the Greeks, who started settling in Crimea around the VIII century BC, meaning St. Peter. Being the highest point of the Crimean Mountains (1,234m), it’s the windiest point in Crimea and clouds often get caught on it, trying to roll over the mountains, as they usually come from the North and try to crawl over the Black Sea.

There’re several ways to get to the top – you can either go the hard way and climb it from its steep side or drive most of the way and then walk/climb along the ‘not so scary’ side. As I am in no way a mountain climber, the second way was my only option. We went to Ai Petri with my parents and my sister, who was about 6 at that time. While she stayed behind with my mom on a slightly lower level (where you would find some cafes, gift shops and some decks with great views), my father and I joined a group of tourists led by a guide towards the very top. We were hoping to see a great view of the South Coast, but suddenly (as it happens so often on Ai Petri) a huge cloud showed up and got firmly attached to the mountain top without any intentions of moving. We already drove up a crazy serpentine road with sharp 180 degree turns, so we decided to go ahead and climb it anyway.

Just 10 minutes into our hike it started to rain, not a downpour, but a steady rain, which nonetheless made the hot summer day feel much cooler in an instant. On the way, we passed some juniper bushes and the guide said it’s somehow good (for luck or health, don’t even remember now) to sit or lay on them for a bit, so, of course, I was not missing out on this and had a minute of rest, sitting on those low green cushions (which, obviously, did not make me any dryer, quite the opposite, but was still fun). We soon reached what I thought was a very thick fog and the rain started to ease off a bit. As we climbed higher, the fog remained, the rain stopped, but there still was that strange rustling sound. What actually happened was, we walked into the cloud and then got higher inside of it, so the rain was still falling, but it was now falling beneath us. That was an amazing experience – walking above the rain.

We reached the top, but the only reason we actually knew it was the top was that the guide showed us a metal structure with lots of ribbons tied to it – people would leave those ribbons behind, making a wish. That structure was actually placed on the peak of Ai Petri and just a few meters behind it was a crazy drop towards the sea shore. We, however, saw nothing, but the milky white of the clouds – awesome views, together with scary drops, were somewhere behind it.

Way back was a bit scarier (climbing down was somehow harder), a little bit less wet (although, by that point I was soaked through, so any more rain could not do much more damage) and very satisfactory – we did it! Even though Ai Petri’s weather proved to be as unpredictable, as they always said it was, it was still a great experience.

Just when we got back to my mom and sister, who waited for us on an observation deck, that huge cloud took off from its resting place and slid off towards the sea in a matter of minutes. Ai Petri’s peak shined above us in all its glory. Oh well, the view from the deck was still amazing and I did not feel like complaining – just have to try my luck with this capricious mountain some other time.

As photos from this family trip are somewhere in an album in our home, left behind by my family in the Ukrainian conflict zone, I’m not even sure, when would be the next time I would gain access to them. Nevertheless, I wanted to show you the view from Ai Petri, so here’re some photos I found in Creative Commons:

24 comments

  1. That sounds like an amazing place to visit, the Crimea has always fascinated me. This looks like a great climb, if a very difficult one! It is beyond sad all your family photos have been lost in the conflict, though. I hope you get them all back one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! We’re still hopeful that it would all finish one day and everything will be normal, if not the same. But yes, Crimea is really amazing!

      Like

  2. Lovely post – great story! Reminds me of when I didn’t see the view from the top of the cable car in Hong Kong…nice cloud though ;) I hope to get on to this in the next couple of days and do a post about the Florida Keys, where we have just returned from so it’s very fresh in my mind!

    Liked by 1 person

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