Odessa (Ukraine)

For more details click on the map

For more details click on the map

Odessa or Odesa (Ukrainian: Одеса; Russian: Одесса; Romanian: Odesa; Greek: Οδησσός; Yiddish: אדעס) is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast (province) located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 (as of the 2001 census).

Odessa was founded by Hacı I Giray, the Khan of Crimea, in 1240 and originally named Khadjibey after him. After a period of Lithuanian control, it passed into the domain of the Ottoman Sultan in 1529 and remained in Ottoman hands until the Ottoman Empire’s defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1792.

The Russians renamed the city Odessa in 1794. From 1819–1858 Odessa was a free port. During the Soviet period it was the most important port of trade in the Soviet Union and a Soviet naval base. On January 1, 2000 the Quarantine Pier of Odessa trade sea port was declared a free port and free economic zone for a term of 25 years.

In the 19th century it was the fourth largest city of Imperial Russia, after Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Warsaw. Its historical architecture has a style more Mediterranean than Russian, having been heavily influenced by French and Italian styles. Some buildings are built in a mixture of different styles, including Art Nouveau, Renaissance and Classicist.

Following the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 during World War I, Odessa was occupied by several groups, including the Ukrainian Tsentral’na Rada, the French Army, the Red Army and the White Army. Finally, in 1920, the Red Army took control of Odessa and united it with the Ukrainian SSR, which later became part of the USSR.

During World War II, from 1941–1944, Odessa was subject to Romanian administration, as the city had been made part of the Transnistria occupation district. Romanians used the name ‘Odessa’ as the Ukrainian version of the city. The Romanian occupation may be described a „soft one” compared to the short period of German occupation in 1944.

The Romanian commanding General made an unofficial armistice with the partisans hidden in the city’s catacombs, who in turn did not mount much resistance to the Romanians.

When the people of Odessa suffered from hunger, the Romanians transported grain from Bessarabia to Odessa in 1942 and 1943. It is told that the Romanians imported the best cognac and wines, in addition to two train loads of the best French food in 1942 to the restaurants of Odessa, from France.

During the April 1944 battle Odessa suffered severe damage and many casualties. Many parts of Odessa were damaged during its siege and recapture on 10 April 1944, when the city was finally liberated by the Red Army.

Following the Siege of Odessa, and the Axis occupation, approximately 25,000 Odessans (mostly Jews) were murdered and over 35,000 deported. Most of the atrocities were committed during the first six months of the occupation which officially begun on 17 October 1941, after the bombing of the Romanian HQ and the subsequent brutal response of the Romanian military.

After this time period, the Romanian administration changed its policy, refusing to deport the remaining Jewish population to extermination camps in German occupied Poland, and allowing Jews to work as hired labourers. As a result, despite the tragic events of 1941, the survival of the Jews in this area was higher than in other areas of occupied Europe.

Source: Wikipedia

Travel journal

If you are in Chisinau and you want to arrive in Odessa, the best idea is to get a vehicle –a bus from North Station (near Calea Basarabiei market).

So we did.

At 07.30 we took the first bus which goes to Odessa and we paid for a ticket 93 Moldavian lei (it means 5.8 euros). The bus-driver gave us an inquest to complete for entering in Ukraine.

A half of this inquest you give when you come in the country and another one when you leave it. We passed the customs very quickly, without problems and in 4-5 hours we arrived in Odessa.

As we didn’t have a map for orientation, we started to ask people how to arrive to Potemkin Stairs, which was our first visit. Honestly, we tell you, you must be patient with Ukrainian people because how many people you ask, you will receive different contradictory answers to arrive at the place you need 🙂

In this way, we took the trolley number 5, we paid for the ticket 1 grivna (0.08 euros) and after 4 stations we were on Tiraspol’skaya Street. We walked for other 15 minutes among some nice old buildings and we arrived at the Poteomkin Stairs.

By the way, the streets from Odessa are very nice in autumn :P.

We visited the Passage from Odessa which impressed us very much by its architecture. We have to recognize the prices from those shops were pretty high. On the streets, we saw a lot of expensive bars, restaurants and pubs, but interesting arranged, however, with few clients.

From the beginning, we were a bit disappointed a cause of those stairs-we thought it would be more imposing, but it looked like some usually stairs. From the right side, there was a funicular which leave you down, at the beginning of the stairs.

Sincerely, we don’t see the meaning of this funicular because the distance is not so long, it’s only 142 meters you can descend in 2 minutes!

A funny moment was when we had to split thousands of balloons threw from the roof of a building-people from Odessa celebrated the inauguration of a shopping center. It was nice to see people of all ages doing a thing that gave them a smile on theirs faces.

If you are in Ukraine, it is impossible to not respect the tradition- we bought beer and dry salt fish! How the harbour was near, we had a freezing walk on the promenade; the sea was not so hospitable with us.

At half past 5 we had to take the bus to return in Chisinau so we had to hurry to arrive at the bus station. We had the same problem: all people we asked what trolley we must take gave us different answers, but in the end we arrived to the final destination. 😛

From the bus station we bought some carrot pies (3.5 griva=0.25 euros each pie). The ticket price Odessa-Chisinau was 53 grivnas/person (equal 4 euros). At the customs; we gave the second part of that inquest we completed before we entered in Ukraine and in 4 hours we were in Chisinau.

Odessa seemed us to be a nice, pretty big city, with a lot of interesting places to visit, however, better in summer 😉

Bus station (Avtovokzal)

Bus station (Avtovokzal)

A kiosk with all kind of crumpets, just near to bus station

A kiosk with all kind of crumpets, just near to bus station

A soviet block

A soviet block

A very width tram

A very width tram (the ticket is 1 UAH which means 0.08 EURO)

Just a photo from the center, with ukrainian yellow marshutka

Just a photo from the center, with ukrainian yellow marshrutka

A bus...

A bus...

A nice building, with Cuba Cafe Bar

A nice building, with Cuba Cafe

Paved road in the old center

Paved road in the old center

Trolley...

Trolley...

Old center (the road to harbour)

Old center (the road to harbour)

DE TRADUS

Military of Ukraine (Southern forces)

Real hypermarket

Real hypermarket

You can observe the colour of the bars (Ukrainian flag)

You can observe the colour of the bars (Ukrainian flag)

I think this is Preobrazhenskiy Cathedral from Sobornaya Square

I think this is Preobrazhenskiy Cathedral from Sobornaya Square

Beeline mobile phone company from Russia and life:), Kyivstar, Golden Telecom and MTS from Ukraine

Beeline mobile phone company from Russia and life:), Kyivstar, Golden Telecom and MTS from Ukraine

The Passage from Odessa (1899) with baroque style

The Passage from Odessa (1899) "baroque style"

Built in 1899, by polish architect Lev Vlodek, the passage belonged to the merchant Mendelevich. Now, passage is one of the lare largest auction centers in Odessa

Built in 1899, by polish architect Lev Vlodek, the passage belonged to the merchant Mendelevich. Now, passage is one of the lare largest auction centers in Odessa

McDonald's

McDonald's

An exchange panel

An exchange panel

This is the monument of the founders of the city, build in 1900, restored in 2007

This is the monument of the founders of the city, build in 1900, restored in 2007

Nice buildings...

Nice buildings...

That was near to the Potemkin Stairs

That was near to the Potemkin Stairs

The 142-metre-long Potemkin Stairs

The 142-metre-long Potemkin Stairs

Slavic style :)

Slavic style 🙂

Wedding near to the Black Sea :P

Wedding near to the Black Sea 😛

The Potemkin Stairs were constructed between 1837–1841

The Potemkin Stairs were constructed between 1837–1841

Hair for all Ukraine from Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko (Ukrainian: Юлія Володимирівна Тимошенко), the Prime Minister of Ukraine

Hair for all Ukraine from Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko (Ukrainian: Юлія Володимирівна Тимошенко), the Prime Minister of Ukraine 🙂

In Kiev the machine is cheaper :)

In Kiev is cheaper 🙂

Trains near to the Odessa Harbour

Trains near to the Odessa Harbour

I love you, my Odessa :P

I love you, my Odessa 😛

The highway from the harbour

The highway from the harbour

An info panel at the harbour

An info panel at the harbour

An ukrainian vessel

An ukrainian vessel

Other vessels

Other vessels

Hotel Odessa on the Black Sea, just near to the harbour

Hotel Odessa on the Black Sea, just near to the harbour

UKRFERRY "Caledonia" which can take you to Istanbul :P

UKRFERRY "Caledonia" which can take you to Istanbul 😛

Lenin is alive :(

Lenin is alive 😦

A cute ukrainian cat :)

A cute ukrainian cat 😛

Public phone cabin

Public phone cabin

A panel with the condition of weather in the Bus station

A panel with the condition of weather in the Bus station

Chernivtsi (Ukraine)

Chernivtsi (Romanian: Cernăuţi; Ukrainian: Чернівці) is the administrative center of Chernivtsi Oblast (province) in western Ukraine.

Chernivtsi on map

Chernivtsi on map

The city lies in the historic Northern Bukovina region and is situated on the Prut river, a tributary of the Danube.

As of the 2001 Ukrainian Census, the city’s population is 240,600.According to the latest All-Ukrainian population census in 2001, the population of Chernivtsi was approximately 236,700 people of 65 nationalities.

Among them, 189,000 (79.8%) are Ukrainians, 26,700 (11.3%) Russians, 10,500 (4.4%) Romanians; 3,800 (1.6%) Moldavians, 1,400 (0.6%) Polish; 1,300 (0.6%) Jews; 2,900 (1.2%) other nationalities.

Based on the last available Soviet data, the population of the city, as of January 1, 1989, was approximately 295,000 residents.

Among these, there are some 172,000 Ukrainians, 46,000 Russians, 16,000 Romanians, 13,000 Moldavians, 7,000 Poles and others. Historically, the city was very multinational. From 1870 to the Second World War, Jews were the biggest population group of Czernowitz.

In 1930, according to the Romanian census, the population of the city was 26.8% Jewish, 23.2% Romanians, 20.8% Germans, 18.6% Ukrainians, and 1.5% Russians.he Romanian population in Chernivtsi started decreasing rapidly after 1950.

Many Romanians fled to Romania or were deported to Siberia (where most of them died), and the remaining Romanian population quickly became a minority and assimilated with the majority.

Nowadays, the Romanian minority in Chernivtsi is still decreasing as a result of cultural assimilation and emigration to Romania.

Source: Wikipedia

Travel Journal

What would be if I will go to Chernivtsi, in Ukraine ?
We took the train from Bucharest to Suceava.

After we arrive in the railway station from Suceava-Burdujeni, we were surprised to admire the railway station that was build in 1869.

After we put our legs in the railway station, an old gypsy man came to us and start to say that Suceava is a dangerous city, and we must have attention because of that and other rubbish (gypsy baloney).

After that, he see that we don’t give him money or something, and he start to say that he needs some money to go at his home, with train.

Can you belive that?

In 2009, someone in European Union could have such momments !

You remember an episode of South Park, called “Night of the Living Homeless“ ? 😛

“Change..Change…you have any change” :)))

After that we escape from the living gypsy, we take the local bus and we go to the centre of the city.A single ticket is 1.5 RON (New Romanian Leu)…almost 0.35 euro-cents.

From the center, we decided to go to the History Museum, to see the throne room of Stephen the Great, the ruler of Moldavian Kingdom between 1457 and 1504.

We take the taxi and we go to the History Museum. The price of taxi in Suceava is 1.80 RON (almost 0.5 Euro).

The museum is good, it has special rooms for all parts of history…start with prehistoric times and ends with WW2.

They also have a good collection of coins, especially medieval moldavian coins from monasteries.

Suceava is not a big city, and we go to the stronghold of the city, which was the capital of Moldavian Kingdom in the time of Stephen the Great.

Up to the hill were the fortress is built, the landscape is amazing, you can see almost all Suceava, and the road from the Mc Donald’s to the stronghold is through forest, simple amazing !

After this walking, we go to the bus station in Suceava and we took the bus for Chernivtsi (2.00 PM). The distance is about 82 km, through the border point Siret in Romania and Porubne in Ukraine.

Before we arrive to the border, we completed an Immigration Card, where we wrote our departure with destination (a hotel), name with surname, citizenship, passport number and our signature.

We didn’t pay anything, we just give the document to the Ukrainian border police and they give us to keep half from the paper. With that half paper you can leave Ukraine, and you must keep it at you.

Before we arrived in Chernivtsi, we pass through Hlyboka (in Romanian is Adâncata), a small Romanian town in Northern Bukovina. The population of Hlyboka District is majority Romanian (51.4 %).

In June 1940, Soviet Union take Northern Bukovina which was eliberated by Romanian Army in 1941.

Romania was forced to give the northern part of Bukovina to the USSR by the 1947 Paris peace treaty. The territory became part of the Ukrainian SSR as Chernivtsi Oblast (province). After the war the Soviet government deported or killed about 41,000 Romanians.

After one and a half hour we arrive to Chernivtsi.

We go to search a bank to buy some UAH with Euro.

The currency was 1 Euro=10 UAH (Ukrainian hryvnia).

With Ukrainian currency, we go to eat and to drink something. We eat at a fasto-food some hamburgers, we drink Kvass (Kbac) and we eat Ukrainian icecream, which is cheaper and good.

With 10 UAH (1 Euro) I eat one big hamburger, one glass of Kvass and one icecream 😀

Can you belive that? 😛

After that, we go for a walk in a park, not so far from the center. We drink some Ukrainian beers and we decided to come back to Romania.

We go to the Central Bus Station (Avtovogzal) and we find a Romanian from Chernivtsi to take us to Suceava. We want to give him some money but he refuse to accept something from us.

We arrive in Suceava at 21.40 and we go to eat and drink,

After that, we go to the railway station to catch the train for Bucharest at 23.04 PM.

The center of Suceava

The center of Suceava

Suceava-Burdujeni railway station

Suceava-Burdujeni railway station

Map of Bukovina

Map of Bukovina

Throne room of Stephen III of Moldavia also known as Stephen the Great (History Museum from Suceava)

Throne room of Stephen III of Moldavia also known as Stephen the Great (History Museum from Suceava)

Solar symbol on a traditional gate near the fortress of Suceava

Solar symbol on a traditional gate near the fortress of Suceava

A great view from the fortress above Suceava

A great view from the fortress above Suceava

Walls of the fortress

Walls of the fortress

On the road from the fortress to the city (through forest).

On the road from the fortress to the city (through forest)

In the bus to Chernivtsi

In the bus to Chernivtsi (old soviet bus)

Timetable in Central Bus Station from Chernivtsi

Timetable in Central Bus Station from Chernivtsi

Central Bus Station from Chernivtsi (Avtovogzal)

Central Bus Station from Chernivtsi (Avtovokzal in ukrainian, Avtovogzal in russian)

Old soviet bus station

Old soviet bus station

Post box

Post box

Local trolleybus from Chernivtsi

Local trolleybus from Chernivtsi

On the road to the centre

On the road to the centre

Law and Order (Ukrainian Police)

Law and Order (Ukrainian Police)

Some nice blocks

Some nice blocks

Plate number from Chernivtsi

Plate number from Chernivtsi

A message to recruting people for sport (Ivan Geshko) Sport-Health-Future

A message to recruting people for sport (Ivan Geshko) Sport-Health-Future

Public phone

Public phone

On this guide panel you can see the name Suceava

On this guide panel you can see the name Suceava

Marshrutnoye taksi or маршрутка (Marshrutka)

Marshrutnoye taksi or маршрутка (Marshrutka)

Kvass (квас) and ukrainian icecream

Kvass (квас) and ukrainian icecream

We saw this ukrainian girl just after we buy some humbergers, she was staying in the front of us

We saw this ukrainian girl just after we buy some humbergers, she was staying in the front of us

a central street in Chernivtsi

A central street in Chernivtsi

Shevchenko Park

Shevchenko Park

Shevchenko Park - A park for Culture and Rest

Shevchenko Park - A park for Culture and Rest

They are still alive !

They are still alive !

Raiffeisen Bank Aval

Raiffeisen Bank Aval

The soviet bus which take us from Suceava to Cernivitsi

The soviet bus which take us from Suceava to Cernivitsi

Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH)

Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH)

A very strong ukrainian beer called Desant (Desant Spetsnaz) 7.2%

A very strong ukrainian beer called Desant (Desant Spetsnaz) 7.2%