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Published: July 13th 2012
After a hot night on an too small bed we were both tired when we woke up. After drinking some morning coffee we realized that we didn't have very much time left. We also didn't have almost any Transdnistrian roubles on us so our only options were to either walk or take a Marschrutka to the train station. We were lucky, the correct minibus appared at the bus stop just when we got there, so after buying tickets at the station we still had 15 minutes to go.
The trip to Odessa went very smoothly. We had an Ukrainan border guard stamp us in at the train and most of the time there was plenty of space. When arriving to Odessa we quickly found an old gentleman renting rooms and started our journey to our room. It was maybe 2km, but we took the trolley bus, first time in a trolley bus for both of us! During this short trip it started raining.
When we got out of the bus it was already pouring, and this was only the beginning. We tried to take shelter under a roof, but it didn't help much as the wind was quite hard.
We ran forward and found a quite good shelter in a corridor to a back yard, here we waited for 10 minutes before deciding to move forward. We were already completely soaked so we didn't think a few more drops would hurt, and the rain seemed to be ending. We didn't get many meters before it came back with full power, this time spiced with hails. With an outdoor temperature of 31 degrees, this was by far the most summery hail storm I've ever experienced!
We changed to dry clothes once we got our room and then waited out the rain storm. When the rain had stopped we went out to find something to eat, and with a little food in our stomachs we headed for the harbour and the Odessa stairs. The city itself looked a lot like St. Petersburg or Helsinki, built in the 19th century and at least the city center was well kept. The city felt relaxed, only place where there were lots of tourists and sellers of all kind of tourist things was around the Odessa stairs. There were also a lot of people trying to lure tourists into taking photos with eagles, snakes,
monkeys and other animals, we were feeling sorry for the poor animals.
From above the Odessa stairs doesn't look like much, but from below they are much more impressive. This is due to a optical illusion, they are narrower at the top than at the bottom in order to make them look longer. We quickly escaped all the eagles towards the Odessa Hotel, where our guide book promised an overpriced coffee with a great view over Odessa and the black sea. The hotel was however closed, so we went down to a café boat at the small boat harbor instead.
The rest of the day we pretty much strolled around looking at the city center, stopping at park benches to eat some snacks and drink some water every now and then. Odessa is really an excellent city for just hanging out, and we both feel very much at home here! We ended our day with some food at a Japanese restaurant, after that we were too tired to do anything else than to go straight back to our "hotel" to try out our beds.
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