Monday, Oct. 5, 2009 – Odessa, Ukraine

      The city of Odessa is often referred to as “The Pearl of the Black Sea”.  Odessa is a beautiful city on the Black Sea coast that holds a special place in the hearts of Russians and Ukrainians.  A visit to Odessa is sure to be unlike a visit to any other city.  In contrast to other cities of the former Soviet Union, Odessa is rich in Western European culture.  Odessa is known throughout the world for it’s art and culture and has, what is considered to be the second most beautiful and important opera house in the world.  The p0opulation of Odessa is about 1.1 million.  It is a cosmopolitan city with 150,000 tourists each year from all over the world.  The currency in Odessa is the Hryvnia.

     The first Marxist labor organization was founded in Odessa in 1875.  In 1905 the civilian rebel took place which was supported even by the rebellious sailors of Potemkin and then the civil war of 1917-1920 brought the famine.  In 1944 the German invaders left Odessa and the city became an important industrial, chemical, mechanical, naval, petrochemical and cinematographic center.

     You could see the Potemkin Stepway when we got off the ship.  We had to do one of those underground walkways to cross the street.  Ray handled the steps well.  He is still using the cane.  The Potemkin Stepway connects the city directly to the sea and was built between 1837 and 1841 by an Italian architect Boffo under the order of the Duke of Richelieau.  Although 192 steps seem to be built in parallel lines, the ones in the bottom have double the length of the upper ones.  They lead to the Promorsky Promenade where you can find the Pushkin Monument which was erected in 1888.  No, we didn’t walk up the stairs.  They have a tram right next to it to get you to the top.

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     We didn’t take a tour, just walked around looking for an Internet.  We changed 20 Euro into their money.  The city seemed very clean and I saw some very pretty jewelry in the windows.  There were a lot of sidewalk cafes.  I asked a few people where to find an Internet and didn’t get an answer until I asked a policeman.  I was surprised that the two young girls I asked didn’t give me an answer.  We found it and it cost me 4.5 grivna for half an hour.  Very cheap – about 55 cents – it would have been 1 Euro ($1.50) at the port, but they were out of codes.

     We saw some very pretty parks in the town and enjoyed the walk.

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We bought a few things at the stand pictured and then went back to the ship.  There was a shop at the entrance where we bought a few more things and then exchanged some Euros for Dollars with the girl running the shop.  There was a folkloric show when we got back on the ship.  A group of musicians were performing on the dock at sailaway.  They had a case open for tips.

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IMG_6198 Stitch Odessa 

You can see the ship reflected in the terminal building on the dock.  There were a lot of people watching our sailaway, many of them family members of people on the ship.  One group was drinking Vodka out of the bottle and then orange juice out of a container.  There was lots of shouting between family members from ship to dock.  We enjoyed Odessa.  The show tonight was Shout performed by the ladies of the Production Cast.

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IMG_6215 Stitch sunset Odessa

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