Sunday, May 13, 2012

Odessa, Part III: Odds and Ends

The math seems a little off here: we spent fewer than 48 hours in Odessa and this is already my 4th post about it! That must say something about the place...

Here are the last bits and pieces that I thought you might find interesting, dear readers:

Remember Deribasovskaya Street?
Here's a quiet daytime shot:
Everyone is seeking shade
There is some unforgettable architecture along this street.
This famous building is called the Passage.

The Passage unites many merchants under one (glass) roof.

Another common sight on Deribasovskaya Street? These marriage agency signs:
The men seeking Ukrainian brides are... cowboys? This is an ad soliciting women for an agency called Anastasia. I saw another interesting ad in Sevastopol informing women they could win a car by joining a marriage agency site.
Elsewhere around town:

A church near the sea port. The church stands between some very pricey yachts and a very tall (and pricey) glass hotel.
We took a boat ride to cool off and I snapped this photo of the beach. Told you it was hot!
The only sad part? A trip to Odessa involves much obligatory monument-viewing and we didn't shy away from this. But it wasn't until later that I heard about the monument to L. L. Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto. That would have been pretty awesome to see! According to old sci-fi books (the kind set during the Cold War that got me interested in Russia in the first place) Esperanto was to be the language of the future. In fact, according to Harry Harrison it should have been the language I'm writing in now :P It was invented before the turn of the century, created by a man who lived in the Russian empire (now Poland) and was designed to be incredibly easy to learn. As it should be, if we're all supposed to learn it! I don't know about you, but learning new languages isn't easy for me. Over time Esperanto hit the jackpot- it's probably the most popular artificial language around today. Now it's even a language option on Google Translate!
Props to Google! Language #64 as of Feb 2012.
And finally, one little piece of Soviet trivia: cities who went above and beyond the call of duty in WW2 received a special title. Instead of just being called City X, there are twelve cities with the official title of Hero City X. Odessa is one of these. (You can find the others by searching for "hero city" on Wikipedia.) In 1945 Odessa was honored with the new name of Hero City Odessa. Look at this sign at the train station. In Ukrainian it reads Welcome to Hero City Odessa!
Goodbye, Hero City Odessa! Until we meet again!
More photos from this trip on Facebook


  1. I hope you'll allow me to add that Esperanto is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. That's quite an achievement for what started as the idea of just one man. It has survived wars and strikes and economic crises, and continues to attract young learners. Esperanto has not yet "hit the jackpot", but it remains a remarkable success story.

    Viaj fotoj estas tre belaj. Vi klare estas talenta fotisto.

    1. If Google translate serves- Dankon pro la informo. Mi ĝojas renkonti alian admiranto de la lingvo. Feliĉa naskiĝtago por esperanto!

  2. I adore your photos. And the "hero city" designation is pretty interesting! Can't wait to see Hero City Odessa again sometime. :)

  3. That advertisement is cracking me up! I guess I didn't realize how popular they are, either...

    (Also, I've been browsing your website and am really intrigued by the trips to cities like Odessa and Crimea. The Ukraine is so different from any country I've ever been to, it's fantastic to read about!)

    1. Hi Cassandra, thanks for coming by :) Yeah, there are lots of funny ads like that around here. The whole country is pretty amazing actually. I hope you'll get a chance to visit it someday!