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Crimea, Now Scene of a Russian Invasion, Is a Tourist Gem: A Photo Essay

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From soaring mountains to craggy shores, from Tsarist palaces to rock-clinging monasteries, from the palace of the Crimean Tatar Khans to the site of the one of the most famous and futile battles in history, Crimea has much to offer the traveller, whatever his/her predilection -- once Russian President Putin reins in his current imperialist caper.

The following is a gallery of photos from a visit to Crimea a few years ago:

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View during the ascent of Mt.Ai-Petri, behind the town of Yalta

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View at summit

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Another summit view with autumnal colours

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Alupinksy Palace built for Prince Vorontsov in 19th century

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Swallow's Nest castle, a 20th century folly near Yalta

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Livadia Palace, built for Tsar Nicholas II, site of wartime meeting between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin in February 1945

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Wartime meeting room

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Another wartime meeting room

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Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Yalta

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Yalta waterfront

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Black Sea coast near Yalta

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Autumn colours

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Bakhchysaray, the Khan's Palace

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The Khan's mosque

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Inside the Khan's palace

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Another palace view

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The Khan's throne

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Uspensky Monastery built into crags outside Bakhchysaray

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Uspensky Monastery

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Chufut-Kale cave city outside Bakhchysaray, with entrance blocked by local mafioso demanding money

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Balaclava harbour

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Scene of the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War

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Battle diorama in Crimean War museum in Sevastopol

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Cathedral of St. Volodymir the Great, who converted to Christianity in 988, by the ruins of the ancient Greek town of Chersonesus

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Ruins of ancient Chersonesus

By the same author: Swimming With Fidel: The Toils Of An Accidental Journalist, available for Kindle, with excerpts available on http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IMNWV2W