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Published: October 6th 2009
Things have improved since my last blog. Yesterday was a beautiful day! The rain disappeared and the city warmed up. We were able to spend the day in the Old Town section of Odessa. We walked to the Odessa Opera and Ballet House. Nearby was a cluster of museums - Literature Museum and an Archaeological Museum. There were many monuments and parks in this area. We saw a statue of Catherine the Great, Duke Richelieu, and many more. It was fun just to people watch in the park and promenade areas. One photographer had animals hanging around his neck and his his vest pockets. He was trying to get mothers to have their child's picture made with one of the animals. He had an alligator with the mouth taped shut, a rabbit, and some other type of mammal. We walked all the way to the seaport. One of the most famous landmarks in the down is the Potemkin Steps. They lead from the old city down to the port. They were named after a Russian battleship that supported a workers' uprising in 1905. The architectural design of the old buildings is very impressive. Many of them are in the
process of being renovated. We walked by many upscale stores with very expensive merchandise. We found a nice Italian restaurant and enjoyed a delicious dinner. After writing my last blog, we found a good German restaurant. Getting some tasty food definitely improved our attitude. We have tried the local beer in each country and have enjoyed it. Today, we purchased bus tickets to Chisinau, Moldova and plan to go there in the morning. The trip will be about 6 hours long. You have to hang around the border for at least an hour. We will be in Moldova for 2 nights. We are hoping to take a day trip to Transdinister (sp) - probably the most unsafe place that we will visit. We also purchased overnight train tickets for Kiev. We will have to come back to Odessa in order to go to Kiev. We can't go from Chisinau because the train goes through Transdinister and that is not safe. When trains cross the border here from one country to another, the wheels on the train cars have to be changed. This action was initiated years ago to prevent military invasion by trains from East to West. The tracks are
Shop Owner in Odessa
I bought some pretty jewelry from this lady. She didn't speak a word of English.
Boots are very popular here with every age female. They come in all heights, designs, and materials. Young women tend to wear any type of shoe/boot with high heels. Every morning starts out very chilly. As the day goes on, it warms up enough to shed jackets.
The people here do not like for you to refer to their country as "The Ukraine." They want it to be called "Ukraine." The Ukranians spell Odesa with one s, the Russians use 2 s's, and you also see it spelled with 2 c's. It is very difficult to find anyone who speaks even a few words of English. We were able to buy our bus/train tickets because I had printed out the directions for exactly which booth to go to, type of ticket, etc. Tomorrow, we will have to be careful to get on the right vehicle.
Cigarette smoking is the norm here. It is ok to smoke in restaurants, taxis, hotel, etc. Many young people smoke. When you go to an internet cafes, it is mostly men and young teenagers. They are not surfing the web. They are playing violent video games with guns!
Today, I hope to find
Grand Prix Cafe
In all outdoor cafes, they have wraps on the chairs. Each cafe has its own color scheme for the wraps.
the bridges with lovers' locks. Young couples hang padlocks from bridges and throw away the key in hopes of their love lasting forever. The most important bridge here is called the Mother-In-Law Bridge. It was built by a former governor to connect two parts of the old city so his wife could easily visit her mother.
I am enjoying Odessa more but am ready to move on to Moldova.
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