|Posted on October 31, 2008 at 10:11 AM|
October 31, 2008
Odessa, Black sea (Ukraine)
Our week off in this city of many wonders has been very delightful.
We have been busy strolling around the downtown area, the beach and harbour. Also, we have spent many hours on the internet, doing research on the destinations to come. We have puzzled out different options, and tried to fit them in the 7 weeks we have left.
Odessa was our ultimate eastern goal for this fall trip. Originally it was planned for us to come back to France using a combination of ferries and biking through; Turkey, Greece, Italy, and North Africa. Our plans have now changed and we have decided to do otherwise. Tomorrow (Saturday Nov.1st) we will be crossing the Black sea with a passenger boat to Istanbul, where we arrive Monday morning. From Istanbul we will bike Southbound towards Syria, followed by Jordany. in Jordany we will end our trip in the Wadi Rum and Petra area.
We are looking forward to the beautiful things that are yet to be seen with in our mind the amazing experiences we already gained on this journey. Our bikes are cleaned, fixed and adjusted and are ready to get going again. After a week of rest our knees are still a bit painfull, which is a little concern for us.
Odessa is the most lively city we saw since we left. The streets are busy night and day. The downtown area is full of chic boutiques, fancy restaurants, cafes and casinos. Men and Women, of all ages, are always dressed up very nicely (we notice many women wearing high heels and miniskirts) . Our hiking boots and tired outdoor gear really stand out and we notice people are staring at us.
The old buildings are very finely decorated and come in many different styles, but always in harmony. Many modern stylish malls and other commercial complexes are seen here and many are still underway.
In the grocery store we find a wide variety of products like veggies, fruits, french cheese and sushi. The most interesting stays the unlimited choice of Vodka, cheaper than a bottle of pop.
We have been lucky to find a very good bike store (Bikers Store, on Malinovskiy street) where they sell western style bicycles.The staff was very happy to help us. They could supply us with spare parts, and make a final tune up on the bikes.
It has been more than 2 months that we lost our best friend Nanook and we still miss him terribly. We think about him very often and wonder where we would have been if he would still be with us. Here in Odessa there are many friendly streetdogs and cats living in packs, bothering nobody and bothered by nobody. We like to watch them go about and be free.