Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ukrainian Jackpot

The Black Sea and the run-down beaches of Odessa

I made it to Odessa! Most of these blog updates will probably be a little short since the Internet connection seems to be dreadfully slow. I really feel like I hit the jackpot by coming here to study Russian. Great home stay situation, running trails along the beach, great teachers, and a pretty city overlooking the Black Sea.

First of all I ended up with the taj mahal of home stays. Its actually more like a small apartment. I figured that I would be in concrete block bldg living with a family. Instead I am in a small house in a side alley in the middle of town. Svetlana (I cant remember her husbands name) has a nice garden with lots of flowers and fruit. I have a key to my own flat right off of the garden with a kitchen, bedroom, tv room, kitchen and bathroom--unbelievable. She brings me breakfast in the morning...something different every day. Its super quiet too.

My large bedroom

The kitchen

The entry area to the apartment

And the garden where I study in the afternoon/evening.

The streets here are very "leafy" with lots of trees lining nearly every avenue. The buildings are set back from most of the roads so it feels really spacious and park-like.

I am impressed that the Russians didn't totally destroy the beaches with developments. There is about a 1/2 mile buffer between the city and the shore which is about 10 km long that is filled with dirt trails and pedestrian walkways. I have even seen many people running and biking here. The beaches are really polluted though and I am not sure if I want to get into the water. Everything along the beach is really run down too and I don't think has ever been maintained.
More paths along the 10 km beach corridor
Climbing wall on a bluff above the beach belonging to the Ukrainian Alpine club

Odessa Alpine Club

2 comments:

mtbikemeteo said...

that's a cool climbing wall.. we should build one in your back yard, Ed!

Dana said...

I think I was in Odessa as a kid, may be 1977/8??? I wonder if my parents have a photo from that trip, I will have to ask them. Good luck with everything, dobro pozulovat, if I remember correctly.