2012 April 9 – Day 29 – Odessa, Ukraine (Part 1)

In Odessa we did not have a tour until the afternoon so after breakfast we explored the same route as could be taken on the walking tour shore excursion.

I don’t know the significance, if any, of this dragon, but he was cool.

The port is located at the bottom of the famous Potëmkin steps.  There were 200 but 8 were removed when the harbour was restored, so we only had to climb 192.  The Potëmkin Steps are considered the “city gate.”  The steps at the bottom are twice as wide as those at the top.  When viewed from the top, individual risers blend into a smooth slope.It was a very windy day and cool.  The temperature was about 6° C (43° F) so there were not a lot of folks out walking.  We enjoyed wandering around and seeing some of the buildings and parks in the older parts of town.

                                 Vorontsov Palace (above) Shah’s Palace.  Built between 1851-1852.  So called because it was rented by the Persian Shah.

The Mother-in-law’s Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that is built over a gully to connect two roads in Odessa.  No one is quite sure why it bears that name.  The two prevailing theories are: 1) the bridge is quite rickety.  If there is a strong wind or a few people jump at the same time it really shakes.  This is like a mother-in-law’s wagging, scolding tongue. 2) the mayor of the city at the time the bridge was built (1969) loved his mother-in-law’s pancakes and had the bridge built to facilitate access to her house.The bridge railings are constantly being covered by padlocks placed there by lovers.  Due to the weak construction of the bridge city officials just a constantly remove them.  They even had this heart sculpture built at one end of the bridge to encourage people to use it instead of the bridge.  Doesn’t work.  They still cover the bridge with padlocks.
        This park had a nice fountain and quite a few sculptures.  A fellow setting up shop for photographing tourists in old military garb.         The world famous Odessa Opera House and Ballet Theater  The City Council Building

We completed the walking tour loop and went back to the port for some lunch before our afternoon tour of the catacombs.The port building.  The entire front is mirrored and this very unique sculpture is in the courtyard outside. 

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