I was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and lived in this city for my 21 years. Then, after some not pleasurable episodes, I decided to move to Krasnoyarsk, Russia. But my relocation wasn’t connected only with bad circumstances. Also, I moved to my future wife’s flat and since that happened, I have started a new life. And I have been living this new life in a new city for last 6 years. But Odessa city, which I left, still occupies a big part in my heart.
Let’s begin from Introductory.
It’s all because Odessa is a very special city. This city is well known across former soviet countries and even around the world, because of it’s unique atmosphere and history.
Why even after 6 years spent in almost another end of the world I still miss Odessa? Why I still see Odessa streets, yards, parks and sea shores in my dreams?
Well, it’s hard to explain to somebody who isn’t and Odessa resident. Somebody could try to know this city through a lot of songs about it.
Here are some lines from one of them:
Есть город, который я вижу во сне,
О, если б вы знали, как дорог
У Чёрного моря явившийся мне,
В цветущих акациях город,
В цветущих акациях город.
У Чёрного моря…
And my own free style translation:
There is city exists, which I see in dream,
Oh, if you could know, how valuable
Behind Black sea it revealed for me,
In blooming acacias city
In blooming acacias city
Behind Black sea…
Sound’s like my situation. But it will say almost nothing for a person who hears this song the first time. Even I hadn’t understood it fully before I left Odessa. This person will not remember during the listening of the song about this acacias trees look and flavor, mixed with the flavor of lilac. He doesn’t know this feeling in spring when you surrounded with green and blooming. You walk under sun shine and inhale all aroma around. You hear birds sing and the buzz of bees and other insects. And you feel great.
Let’s end with introductory and continue to the main topic
Odessa is a very green city. There is a lot of parks, trees grow on both sides of streets and inside yards and a long green zone along seashore called “Road of health”. Also there are hills, which called “slopes” by locals, placed between seashores and the city and they are also green. In the center, along old historical streets of the city, grow a lot of trees. They are very old, they have big trunks, wide branches and they form like a natural green ark over the street. All around the city grow Chestnuts, which kernel likely to cook by french people. But in Odessa chestnuts just lying under your feet. Also there is a lot of Greek nuts trees, and these nuts cost some money here in Krasnoyarsk, but in Odessa only kids gather them from the ground. Very fresh and cheap fruits and vegetables could be found on a special market called “Privoz”. There are sellers from countryside from all corners of Odessa region.
So, when some tourist will visit the city in a warm period of the year for the first time before he will open his tour guide book, he should know – wherever he will go, he will be surrounded by green.
But there are other places, which should be visited in any season.
Visit cards and variety of nationalities
One of them is Odessa Opera House. This imposing building has great architecture beauty and art value. The Opera House is a very old building and it has been renewed several times. This building became like visit card of the city. And if I mentioned invitation card, I should also mention Odessa port. Many ships with different goods circulate in and out port docks every day.
With own port Odessa always was a lively city and inhabited by people of different nationalities. Maybe this mix of nationalities developed a unique charm in the city. Odessa at different times was home for Greeks, Romanians and Moldavians. Also there live a lot of Russians, because Odessa was founded by Russians, and only after that it became a lovely home for Ukrainians. Also Odessa always was a home for a huge Jews diaspora. At period of WW2 virtually all of them ran from the city, but later they returned back. Nowadays many synagogue located in city, and there is some cafe and places which are almost only for Jews. Tourist can hear even more exotic foreign languages on the streets. It’s Turkish, because Turks have their business in Odessa. It’a different Caucasian nationalities languages, which could be heard from their small food selling magazines. And in the center of the city English and German languages could be heard. German like to visit Odessa, because their grandparents were in city for some period in the past.
Let’s now return back to places. Another two places which are worth to be mentioned are Sobornaya Square and Greek Square. And of course Deribasovskaya street with City garden connected to it. We will walk from one place to another and I will describe them a bit. But now we are still in port. From both sides from main port placed industrial port facilities. But they don’t spoil view and impressions when you walk till the edge of the main port. High building with hotel and different services located right in the center of the port. After you walk around the hotel, you can see many yachts moored and a lighthouse further out to sea. A tourist could rent a pleasure craft and have a raiding to the lighthouse.
More visit cards of the city
Now let’s go out from the port and lead our way to the city. But first you should overcome a stair with 200 steps. It’s Potemkinskaya stair and it’s another visit card of the city. The Stare became famous after it appeared in film “Battleship Potemkin” on it’s steps had place a battle between sailors. If tourist have problems with health and can’t overcome the stairs on foot, he could use tram cabin which could get him to the top of the stair, like a lift. At the top of the stair a picturesque view of the port opened for the observer. And from the back, right before stair, placed monument in favor of Duke De Richelie. He was one of the first city governors and yes, he was French. After some time he returned to France but has made Odessa a flourished coastal city before he left. Also monument of Ekaterina the Grand, the empress of the Russian Empire is presented in city center. By the way she was the founder of the city. And in her feet were placed three mans, who were her close advisers.
So, now from Duke monument we can walk to the right or to the left along beautiful pedestrian zone called Primorskiy boulevard. Boulevard exists from the city first years and has been restored not a long time ago. If a tourist will walk to the right, he will find himself behind an old and even ancient construction called Arch. It looks like an ancient Greek arch. It has a little square behind and it’s a beautiful place for different events and it has very good view of the industrial part of the port. Near the Arch placed pedestrian bridge called Teschin. Tescha is a mother of the bride in Russian language. This bridge has his unique threat, when strong wing is blowing and you are on this bridge, you can feel the bridge is shaking. Along all bridge tourists can see tons of iron locks which are dangling on a bridge fence. It’s a tradition for lovers pairs to place one on the fence as a symbol of their love.
Let’s return to Duke and now walk to the left from Potemkin stairs. At this side of boulevard placed monument in favor of Pushkin, great and very famous Russian poet. It’s a monument with his bust and fountains around. And there is a beautiful building of the city administration at the end. On the square placed a big cannon from the old imperial times.
Now, if tourist will walk up in the city center direction, he will walk along already mentioned Opera house with big beautiful fountains near it. And then he will appear at the Deribasovskaya street. This street is pedestrian only and it’s surface laid by paving stones. Deribasovskaya is an old street with old buildings, which have beautiful architecture, from the both sides.
City garden connected from right side to the Deribasovskaya. Garden consist several monuments which are loved by tourists, a fountain and a small arch for orchestra. In the evening orchestra is playing music and old people dancing and the fountain changes his light color and his shape.
From the opposite side of the street, a tourist could find Grecheskaya square. It’s a spacious square with big flower beds and fountains. Also in the center of the square placed the biggest shopping mall in the city. From the outside you can’t even imagine how big it is, but when you inside, you realize it’s size. Because inside the building, right under the very top of it, a giant rock ball is dangling on strong cables, which as big as bus. This shopping mall called Afina in favor of ancient Greek goddess.
If tourist will walk out of the shopping mall, he could go to the Cathedral square. Imposing building of Cathedral is placed in the center of the square. Square is spacious enough and has a lot of trees, paved routes, and benches for people. At the square also placed a monument in favor of Prince MS Vorontsov. There is one very old building at one side of the square called Old Medicine. In our old good times, we with my friend climbed on the roof of this building with bottles of vine. We sat here, drunk, were observing square and city lights in the evening.
Let’s now teleport to the city outskirts. There placed a park zone called 411 battery. It’s filled with red army technique from WW2. There tourist could see submarine in full size, a small warship, a lot of tanks and different war machines. Also there is armored train with three wagons. And artillery and anti-aircraft cannons. And an old fashioned fighter flight placed on a plinth. 411 battery park is a lovely place for people of all ages, especially for children, who like climb on all this old technique. Tourist could walk deep into park, could read information about WW2 events that happened here in the past. Later he will see soldiers’ trenches and anti-tank structures left here untouched. If tourist curious enough, he could try to investigate on of the side streets after park and he will come to the sea. Seashores in this part of the city aren’t well known, they are mostly wild with a few people resting on them. This seashores lovely places for nudists.
Let’s now teleport to the city main seashore. Which one? Any of them. Because seashores placed almost along all city coast. That’s why this lines from another famous song about Odessa are very true:
Ах Одесса, жемчужина у моря…
Ах Одесса, ты знала много горя.
Ах, Одесса, любимый милый край,
Живи, моя Одесса, живи и процветай.
And my free translation is:
Ah, Odessa, the pearl of the sea,
Ah, Odessa, you know a lot of grief,
Ah, Odessa, favorite cute place
Live, my Odessa, live and thrive.
The most famous of seashores are Dolphin beach, Langeron, Otrada and Arkadia. Beaches filled with people in summer and there even no place to step, because all surface covered with peoples towels. But when summer season ends, beaches became very calm and relaxing place just for a walk. You can walk along seashore, hear sounds of sea waves, throw small stones and shells into sea. See how wind shaking a sea foam, hear and watch a lot of seagulls. Try just sit on the pear and direct your eyes into far away silhouette of the ship, far away from the shore… And you will find yourself thinking about different philosophic staff and about your life.
I could write a lot more about mentioned in the article places and I haven’t mentioned even half of all interesting Odessa places. I haven’t described huge Odessa parks, like Victory park, and different monuments, like 10th April monument in favor of the liberation of the city.
But I should stop here because I’m already has written too much for my English essay. :)
Thank you for reading! This article was written for learning purposes because I’m attending English lessons.