Odessa City, Ukraine
I get off from the bus in a place near Odessa city center which I took in Uman. Then I begin to search the hotel I booked on Booking.com. The hotel is in the middle of the city and 250 meters away from Opera Building. The entrance of the hotel is a bit scary. The top floor of a 4 story building is turned into a hotel. There are only 5 or 6 rooms. The hotel owners also stay there. I put my thing to the room and go out to see the sparkling streets of Odessa. The streets are very lively. After a little walk, I return to the hotel to eat something and have a little rest. I’ll continue to tour tomorrow.
I wake up to a nice and warm April morning in Odessa. I go out for breakfast. After having breakfast, I begin to tour the Opera building. It is very magnificent. I buy a ticket for tonight’s show. The ticket prices are really funny. My ticket was for the balcony and it costs 100 Grivnis. The cheapest ticket price is 30 Grivnis. After buying my ticket, I take a walk on the coast. Today is a local festival in Odessa. People put on various costumes and make some entertainments on the streets. After watching them, I go to the harbor using the Potemkin stairs which became a symbol of Odessa.
The main reason behind the fame of Potemkin stair, the symbol of Odessa which was built in between 1837 and 1841, is the optic illusion it has. When looking from the below, only the stairs can be seen. But when looking from above, you can only see the flat surfaces between the stairs. The stairs containing 192 steps has been designed by Italian architect Francesco Boffo. The reason of its construction is that Prince Shining Vorontsov wanted to give it to his wife Elizabeth as a gift. You should surely see it. Below the stairs is the Odessa harbor.
The harbor is really big. I get in to the boat in the harbor and sail in order to see Odessa from the sea. The tour takes about 50 minutes and costs 80 Grivnis. Compared to the Bosphorus tour in İstanbul, this boat tour does not seem very good but I wanted to try it anyway.
After the boat tour, I begin to tour the city. I walk on the Deribasivska Avenue which is the heart of the city. In summer times, cafes, bars and restaurants here are full. The avenue gets pedestrianized. You can take a nice walk throughout the streets with cobblestone pavements in the shadows of lime trees. While walking on the street, I go to ’’Ukrainian Cuisine’’ Restaurant to eat something. You can have little rest in this local-style decorated restaurant and have a nice Borsh soup.
Another place to visit in the city center is Transfiguration Cathedral. This building, the first and most important church in Odessa, was small and had a small dome when it was constructed in 1221. But as a result of constant renovations and expansions, it became a very large cathedral. The cathedral which was demolished by Soviets in 1936, has been rebuilt as a result of works started in 1999.
I make a bargain with a taxi driver in order to visit the tunnels. I make a deal of 93 Grivnis for the tunnels 25 km away from the city. The structure is really interesting. The tunnels are 20 meter below the surface and consist of 3 floors.
According to the woman who shows us the museum, the place where the tunnels are located now, were the sea centuries ago. Because of its soft structure, this place which were once the sea, allowed Partizans to dig the tunnels in a short time and expand them when needed. Even now, the walls of the tunnels are so soft that you can dig it with your bare hands.
The tunnels are quite big and made of 3 floors. It is not fully open for visitors. We can only see 1 floor. The tunnels are made of a complex which consists of student classes, seperate dorms for men and women, bathrooms, church, kitchen, storeroom, control room and more. There are even Hitler caricatures drawn on the tunnel walls. I tour the tunnels for about 1 hour. The woman who shows the museum lives just across the museum. When I visited the museum, it was closed. We asked somebody and called her. After my visit ended, we had a little chat and I learned that I can go to the city by bus. It takes nearly 1 hour by the bus with the number of 84. It costs me 5 Grivnis.
If you visit Odessa, don’t return without visiting here.
Working Hours: 09:00-17:00
Entrance Fee: 100 Grivnis
Taxi Fee: 93 Grivnis
After getting off the bus in a location close to the city center, I go to my hotel and change my clothes. Then I go to the Opera. The show is about to begin. Inside the building is really very nice. It is a very long show. After watching the show that consists of 3 acts, I return to my hotel.
I go to the train station to buy a train ticket to Kharkov for the next day. My fourth stop in Ukraine will be the city of Kharkov.