Sometimes it's better to arrive than it is to travel. I reached Sevastopol on the half past two bus, passing kick-off at the football ground and an armoured train with Death to the Fascists! written across the front. There were groups of men in flat white hats and black naval uniforms, wild poppies by the roadside, Hare Krishnas dancing at the seafront, and a statue of Lenin on a hilltop, facing out to sea, his right arm pointing forwards in the direction of a huge Russian flag.
At the hostel I was met by a man in a Red Army Officer's uniform, who pulled up on the cobbles in a World War II jeep. "Michael? Sorry about the wait," he said, extending his hand. "Welcome to Crimea."