Route: Rodnikovskoye - Kolhoznoye
What to see: Skelsky Menhirs - Skelsky Cave - River Canyon Uzundzha.
How to get there by public transport: take a bus to the village Rodnikovskoye from Balaklava Highway bus station.
How to get there by car: take the Highway Balaklava T 27 06, then follow the Highway M 18, turn at the arrow to the village Orlynoye (T 27 03) and drive till the village Rodnikovskoe. The distance - 35 km.
The starting point of the route are the Skelsky menhirs, which are located right at the entrance to the village. Menhirs - the vertically set stone blocks in the shape of obelisks - are the ancient example of the concious human building activity, the first sample of the architecture and a cult astronomical construction of the Stone Age. In the literal translation from the Breton Menhir means "long stone".
Until recently, menhirs were attributed to the culture of the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. However, recent studies testifyed their much more ancient origin. The similar structures are common to Europe, Asia and Africa, however they are more often found in Western Europe, especially in the UK, Ireland and the French province of Brittany. It is believed that the oldest man-made monument in the Crimea is located in the village Rodnikovskoye. What was the purpose of the Menhirs? Some scientists identify them with the ancient observatories as far as the star observing was necessary for the crop cultivation at that time. Others attribute medicinal power to the Menhirs. In total, there are four Menhirs in Rodnikovskoe.
On the way from Menhirs to the mountain Kara-Dag there is Skelsky Cave. It is the next stop on our route.
Skelsky stalactite cave is a natural landmark on the slope of the valley Baydarskaya. The cave has a distinguished size, beauty and well preserved calcite sinter formations. The cave has several rooms connected by the corridors, the second one is the largest and the most beautiful. Its length is 80 meters, the height of the "gothic" arch reaches 25 meters. The walls are decorated with the numerous wandering formations. On the main wall of the Chimney Hall one can see the face of spirit-keeper of the cave. At the Dolphin Hall there is a stone dolphin that stiffened pounding from the sea. Another point of interest is the Knights Hall, where the miniature copies of the Swallow's Nest and the Foros Church are kept. The main point of interest of the cave is a seven-meter stalagmite. The total length of all the galleries reaches 670 meters. The entry is quite narrow and dirty - take the clothes to change and the second pair of shoes. The total length of the tour route is 260 m.
The third point of the route is a River Canyon Uzundzha in the village Kolhoznoye, 2 km away from Rodnikovskoye.
Kolhoznoye is situated near Chernorechenskaya Reservoir in a very picturesque place, hidden from people by the mountain ranges. The only way to get there is by the road from Rodnikovskoye - a unique road in the Crimea that is carved in the rock of the steep mountain slope and rises over the precipice 30-50 meters. At the bottom of the gorge the river Uzundzha flows. What a unique exciting spectacle! On the distance of 2 km from Rodnikovskoye to Kolhoznoye there is a children camp "Mountain" where you can enjoy the horse riding.
The Canyon of the beautiful pure river Uzundzha is one of the most beautiful and wild places in the Western Crimea. The water in the canyon is clean and clear with a light turquoise hue and looks so harmonic with the gray stones on the background . Despite its low temperature (about 10-11oC) swimming in the river gives a real pleasure.