Day 27: Sunday, October 1, 2006
Search for a Church
Odessa, "The Pearl of the Black Sea", is the fourth largest
city in Ukraine. The city is a major seaport on the Black
Sea, the largest port in Ukraine. From 1819–1858 Odessa
was a free port. During the Soviet period it was the most
important port of trade in the U.S.S.R. and a Soviet naval base.
In 1991, after the collapse of Communism, the city became part
of newly independent Ukraine. Today Odessa is a city of more
than 1 million people. The city's industries include
shipbuilding, oil refining, chemicals, metalworking and food
processing. Odessa is also a Ukrainian naval base and home to a
fishing fleet. It is also known for its huge outdoor market, the
Seventh-Kilometer Market, the biggest market of the kind in
primary goal in Odessa was to find the Church of England
were Kathryn's grandparents were married while her grandfather
was working in Russian on building the railway.
Unfortunately it was a Sunday and most of the buildings were
closed and, unlike the other ports of call, we couldn't find
hardly anyone who spoke English.
front of the Port of Odessa
As we disembarked
out the Port of Odessa, we could see the huge Kempinski Hotel
Odessa right on the dock. A local car dealership had taken
over the plaza in front of the port and the cars on display drew
hundreds of people, especially after church let out.
Potemkin Steps is a giant stairway in Odessa, Ukraine. The
stairs are considered a formal entrance into the city from the
direction of the sea and are the best known symbol of Odessa.
The stairs were originally known as the Boulevard steps, the
Giant Staircase, or the Richelieu steps. Apparently named
after an incident involving the battleship Potemkin, in which
the crew mutinied and came ashore at this spot, where a skirmish
with troops loyal to the Czar took place. A movie was also
made based on this event, entitled "The Battleship Potemkin,'
some of which was filmed on these steps, including the
Ken, in blue
shirt, at the top of the Potemkin Steps
scene with a baby
carriage bouncing down the steps during a battle (a scene that
has been copied in other movies, including 'The Untouchables.')
The staircase is 27 m high, and extends for 142 m, but it gives
the illusion of greater length. The stairs were so well
designed that they create an optical illusion. A person looking
down the stairs sees only the landings, and the steps are
invisible, but a person looking up sees only steps, and the
landings are invisible. It took Ken a little while but we
climbed all 192 steps to the top.
out to search of the Church of England but we only had a small
map provided by the cruise ship. It was not very good as
it only showed every third or fourth street and all the street
signs were written in the Ukrainian Cyrillic alphabet. We
did discover the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater which
was an awesome sight. After the Potemkin Stairs, it is the most
famous edifice in Odessa. Odessa residents boast that the
Odessa Opera Theater is the second best opera theater in the
world, next to the Vienna State Opera in Vienna.
and Ballet Theater
then walked up and back along Deribasovskaya Street, a
pedestrian walkway that is the heart of the shopping district of
Odessa- nearly every building is a café or restaurant, store or
hotel - trying to find the American Business Centre, which we
had seen advertised on a poster. We figured someone there
might speak English. We finally found it but it was closed
until 12:00 pm, so we walked back down to the waterfront
Shevchenko Park. We walked along the
seafront on Primoskaya Street, past the Port and then back up the hill.
We walked along some beautiful tree-lined streets and saw pretty
pastel coloured buildings. By now the stores had started
to open. We found a store which changed $5 US into 25
hryvnya for us. We bought 10 Odessa postcards for 15
hryvnya to send to Kathryn's relatives . By this time
Kathryn had to go to the washroom. We found a McDonald's
but you couldn't get a code to open the washroom door unless you
tree-lined street in Odessa
used our remaining 10 trivia to buy two Cokes and Kathryn
received the code along with some change. We walked back
along Deribasovskaya Street to the American Business Center
which was now open. In addition to being a business
centre, it specializes as a marriage agency which seems to be
quite popular in Odessa. The young girl in the office
spoke English but knew nothing of the Church of England or where
it might have been. Unfortunately for Kathryn, we never
did find the church.
made our way back toward the ship, we passed the Archaeological
Museum, City Hall and the statue of Pushkin before arriving at
Primorsky Boulevard, a shady seaside promenade
with many historic landmarks and interesting monuments.
Odessites sit here on the shady benches, enjoy the sea breeze,
and gaze at the panorama of the bay. A young girl was
sitting on a curb playing the flute so we gave her our remaining
Ukrainian change. We ended up back at the Potemkin Steps
and the street peddlers were out trying to sell us
standing on Primorsky Blvd
everything. We walked back down the steps and got on the
ships. We went out to the deck but the clouds started to
roll in so we decided to see a move, entitled "Akeela and the
Bee" which we quite enjoyed. That night at dinner the wait
staff entertained us with magic tricks. We went to the
Queen's Lounge after dinner and listened to an excellent Polish
violinist, Hanna Strosta.
Click here for a slide show of Day 27 photos.