UK fans are advised to visit Odessa and Crimea
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UK fans are advised to visit Odessa and Crimea

10 Jun 2012 10:18 PM
In case you have not yet visited the biggest attractions of Ukraine, they begin with the city of Odessa. Grand 19th-century architecture is complemented by 25 miles of beaches, and topped off by the "Potemkin Steps" where Eisenstein's 1925 classic was shot. Twenty-four hours east and south by train takes you to the peninsula where the Charge of the Light Brigade, galloped into legend. In peaceful times, the vineyards of the Crimea make it a surrogate Soviet south of France.

Unfortunately, neither Odessa nor any of the cities of the Crimea was selected as a venue. Instead, England find themselves with two games in a mining town in the east of Ukraine. Donetsk is the kind of place that, given the finite nature of human existence, you can ignore in your quest to experience the best the world has to offer.

In contrast, Kiev, where England's intervening match will be played, is a vast, fascinating capital that rewards exploration. But not over the next few weeks, when hotel rates soar and the vile racism of a tiny minority of Ukrainians may be in evidence: wait until July to discover the city.

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