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Old 02-16-2012, 07:14 AM   #8
asilindean OP
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Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Oddometer: 132
Day 1 - Reni – Odessa - 300 km

We woke up, packed and after a coffee we hit the road. We made a small stop in the center of Reni to withdraw some local currency from the ATM. From Reni we took the road along the north channel of the Danube Delta, Chilia (Kilija) heading towards Izmail. I ride the same road last year on my way to Goblin Show in Odessa and it was in better condition. It seams that the winter has taken its toll on the road. Lots of potholes.
From Izmail the road conditions improved as we are riding along T1610 towards Tatarbunary.

From Tatarbunary one can choose to follow the same road (T1610) or take the road closer to the sea which ends up somewhere between Bilhorod Dnistrovskyi and Zatoka, or continue toward Monashi. The first option is less popular and will take longer since it’s not a main road (tarmac nevertheless) but is more scenic and you can find some remote beaches on the way. The second one will take you to Monashi where you instead of keeping left and north to go to Odessa (route which will force you to cross again the Ukrainian Moldavian border), you should take right and head for Bilhorod Dnistrovskyi and Zatoka. Althou I should warn you that the few km to Bilhorod Dnistrovskyi is full of potholes and some times is preferable to go beside the road (like locals do). But there are only a few km :)

Entering Bilhorod Dnistrovskyi you follow the signs to Zatoka and Odessa, if I remember correctly at the first light you turn right.
We did not stop in Zatoka at the sea side but continued to Odessa where we arrived at noon. We manage to find the hostel and also manage to get the bike in the courtyard of the building, which was a relief. A short nap and were off to see the city. The hostel had a private room which we had reserved in advance for the price of 35 Euro/night.
The hostel was on Koblevskaya Street on the corner of Pl. Soborna near the site of the newly rebuilt Preobrazhensky Cathedral, which was Odesa's most famous and important church until Stalin had it blown up in the 1930s. Not its completely rebuild and has some very, very impressive bell, just to remind you what time is it, that in case you got lost in some reverie over the beauty of the city.
From there we crossed the street and start our promenade on vul Derybasivska and the recently reconstructed City Garden. We watch there o group of seniors dancing near the kiosk where a local band was playing.

Our first stop was at the Kumanets restaurant, just opposite of the City Gardens where I have been last year and I enjoyed the taste of local cuisine. The price of a meal for two was around 350 grivnas, which makes it not a cheap place.

From there on we wondered on the streets of Odessa passing the Opera and Ballet Theatre, designed in the 1880s by the same architects who also designed the Vienna State Opera, namely Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer.

Then we continued along the Prymorsky bulvar, a pedestrian zone with 19th-century replica antique lamps, passing the cannon from the British frigate Tiger and white colonnaded Odessa City Hall, which was originally the stock exchange and later became the Soviet HQ, finally reaching the famous Potemkin Steps.

In the middle of bul Prymorsky, at the top of the Potemkin Steps we admired the statue of the Duc de Richelieu, Odesa's first governor, dressed in a Roman toga.

At the other side of bul Prymorsky, we passed the Vorontsov Palace. This was the residence of the city's third governor. The place near the colonnade behind the palace offered us a view over Odesa's port.

From Vorontsov Palace starts the Tyoshchyn Most (Mother in Law Bridge) who is packed with "Lovers' Locks", fastened there by couples to ensure the strength of their union. It was built in 1969, made by architect Vladimirsky

There are two versions regarding the origin of the name. The first one is that the bridge was called this way because it is long and narrow, and gets rocking due to the strong wind, just like the tongue of mother-in-law. According to the second, more accurate version, the chairman of the Party Committee Mikhail Sinitsa decided to build this bridge, because his mother-in-law lived through the gully. He loved her pancakes, and there was no direct connection between his and her home.

Crowd at the top of Potemkin stairs and a young lad who shows entrepreneurial initiative
(om the back of the girl's vest it says Moto Taxi :))

Then we headed back to vul Derybasivska where we had some beers (20 Grv) on a terrace watching the people going by.

After beer, being hungry we savour a “compot” and some cheese cake at Kompot which is a very nice restaurant on vul Derybasivska. Very good dumplings too :)

asilindean screwed with this post 02-16-2012 at 08:23 AM
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