Ukrainian Atlantis Elegy

(travel feature)

Every time when I come here and stand on a steep cliff, I imagine myself as a bird that first saw the world from a height…The beauty of turquoise water, forested hills and the sun bathing in water take my breath away over and over… “Beautiful moment, do not pass away!” Bakota, the legendary Ukrainian Atlantis, is a place of calm and sad beauty.

A tragic story hides under the enchanting landscape. You feel this invisible sadness in the breath of nature…The village Bakota in Khmelnytsky region has a long Cossack history. It was the center of Bakotskaya volost, once there was a rocky monastery.

The chronicle of Bakota’s history ended when in 1981 people were evicted due to the construction of a hydroelectric power plant, and the village was flooded. People destroyed their homes, cut down trees and dug up the graves of their ancestors to bury them elsewhere. The flooding of the settlement lasted 6 years. But it takes many more years for generations to forget the pain of loss…

Many globetrotters claim that you can come to Bakota with blithe teams of buddies. Personally for me, Bakota is a place of loneliness and light elegy. You can walk on a stone path, inhale the smell of feather grass, run clean water through your fingers and… find yourself. I like to imagine a flooded village and think about mirages of ruined houses and crying people wandering underwater. There is no use crying over spilt milk, but this story and tragic beauty of nature give a lot of food for thoughts.

I don’t want to mislead you: tourist infrastructure here is developing from the ground up. Pull up your socks and be ready for shaky roads and difficult routes, boat rentals really cost an arm and a leg. It’s a blessing in disguise, when you see Ukrainian Atlantis you will forget about all the disagreements and will catch the moment. I sincerely advise you Bakota for a remarkable respite, here you can have a whale of a time!

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