Sunday, May 13, 2012

Odessa, Part II: Otrada Beach

That first day in Odessa almost melted us alive so we hit the beach on day two.
"Otrada Beach. We are waiting for you at French Boulevard 17 A. Tram #5, trolleybus No 5, 7, 9, 10, 11."
A short taxi ride got us to this point:
If you walk through this gate, you'll find the канатная дорога on your right. This is one of those words I know in Russian but not in English. What do we call this in English? Is it cable cart? Or cableway?

Let's stick with канатная дорога. There's a description in Ukrainian on the third sign: Канатная дорога. Quick, romantic, unforgettable. At Otrada beach...but maybe not so cheap at 15 gr/person.

It's a peaceful five minute ride down the hill to the beach. The cars travel at 1.4 m/sec and the ride is 425 meters long. As you travel you pass over hotels, a church, tennis courts, a soccer field, and- this time of year- trees exploding in green. The cars are painted in bright colors, many of them featuring Soviet cartoon characters like the wolf from Ну погоди!
Martin's car had a more recent paint job.
Recognize this guy?
At the bottom...
...the beach awaits!
Inviting, right? And chilly!
A wooden chaise lounge can be rented for a just couple of dollars.
This is how we spent most of the afternoon: Martin and I lounging about like civilized humans, D splashing in the water like a big fish.
The beach was still in the early stages of preparing for the summer crowds. Men were working with hammers and ladders and many food stalls weren't open yet. The hot weather had drawn a smattering of people. Locals were fishing off the piers, teenagers were flirting from towels on the sand, vendors were walking by with snacks, and a DJ was playing music in the background. I watched as a couple posed for wedding pictures in front of the sea while another couple took a windsurfing lesson.
More wedding stalking? You bet!
We skipped the канатная дорога on the way back. It's also possible to walk to Otrada from French Boulevard if you're willing to walk either up or down a big hill. In our case, up. The good news is that there's a nice track to enjoy before the vertical ascent starts. This is the first time I've seen a track like this in Ukraine.
Odessa boasts many other beaches as well.
Otrada, by the way, means pleasure or comfort in English.

More pictures of Odessa on Facebook


  1. Wonderful pictures! Odessa was too cold to go to the beach when we were there... but I'd love to go back and check it out! I'm intrigued by the sanatorium/resort vacation that is so popular in Ukraine/Russia; maybe that will have to be part of the trip. Have you been to anything like that?

    1. We did stay at a place in Simeiz in August 2007 but now D calls it a low-scale sanatorium. They had a cafeteria and some meals were included (including liver for breakfast once, yum). They turned on the water two times a day for a short period and when the one roll of toilet paper in the bathroom ran out, well, the staff told us to buy our own. But then this year we discovered an awesome spa hotel in Yevpatoria- you MUST go there. It's like being royalty! is their website (all in Russian though). If you search my blog for Yevpatoria you can find more info. We have made two trips there this year already while it was still low-season rates. Maybe we'll check out a sanatorium this summer. There are some sanatorium packages in Crimea that look pretty tempting!