Day 37 : Odessa, land of good foods and great moods

Life  sleepily emerges from its annual winter hiatus.

“APRIL GETAWAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaY ”

For indeed, it is that time again. The April Getaway, a moment to FORGET all those weatherly woes and INDULGE away from work, life and friends.

What can I buy for 8,500 rubles?

A flight to  Odessa, Ukraine’s capital of the Black Sea. A 250 year old maritime town built over the remains of Greek seaports and approximately 2500 km of sandstone catacombs. As no one really cares about the exact details of landing times, bowel movements and who I shared my armrest with, I’ll get straight to the juicy point, after thanking my great friend Gina for bearing the brunt of my obsolete grumpiness and infusing our travels with her bounding enthusiasm!

 

Saturday: 

Land, pay toO much for a taxi, touch down in hostel, head out for food. Drink wine. Get weak at the knees from the excess of oxygen. Nap at hostel. Return out for food.

Highlights:

Vareniki – the Ukrainian boiled dumpling stuffed with potato and mushrooms, vegan-friendly handmade deliciousness . For the meat-eaters, try Pelmeni, same thing, but with meat.

Midnight horseback ride in dresses  – ever so inappropriate – but oh-so-much fun.

Kagor – the Moldovan wine. A full-on  blast of sweet red dessert wine which  marries itself to perfection with sunny skies and a warm sea breezes.

Prices – a glass of wine is worth approximately 2 euro, two plates of pelmeni and two homemade smoked fruit drinks for 8.50euros (the price of Starbucks coffee in Moscow)

Sunday:

Everything was awesome.

Highlights:

Breakfast glory by yours truly.

Catacomb capers brought us out of town and deep into the underground.

Seashore cycling led us along the Black Sea, all the way out to the tacky seashore resort of Arkadia.

Stuffed cabbage, Borsch and Pampushii for dinner

Georgian wine – semi-sweet, again. When in Rome, eat pizza, when in the Slavic South, drink semi-sweet red wine.

Monday:

Food, flight and Domodedovo fury.

Highlight:

Kasha with dates and homemade jam. Kasha is porridge. In order to survive life, you should eat kasha once a day according to Slavic tradition. This can come as rolled oats, oatmeal, semolina, buchwheat, rice or anything else you can boil with a healthy pinch of salt and top with jam or fruit or berries or even eat with bread and butter.

Heading to Odessa, head for …

Hostel :  TIU Front Page – central, clean, friendly, helpful, books taxis and tours.

Catacomb tour: contact Egor for some stony shananigans or go through TIU Hostel

Bikes: 3 days for 20euros here or 4euros per hour at “Passage”, on the corner of Deribasovskaya Ulitsa (near the cathedral)

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