I mentioned in a previous post that I would be flying first to Odessa, Ukraine to rest and sleep off my jet lag. The original plan was to fly into Odessa, rest for two days, and then move onward to Tel Aviv. Unfortunately I overslept on the second day and missed my flight to Tel Aviv! I beat myself up about it for a while but I guess sometimes the body knows what it needs and in my case I needed more rest. After rebooking the flight and extending my stay at my hotel it only ended up being a $200 mistake. All is well that ends well I guess. I have been learning recently in life that sometimes things come up and you need to quickly adapt and move on.
I think I managed to make the best of my 4 days in Odessa. When I first arrived I dropped my bags off at my hotel and went for a quick walk down Deribasovskaya Street. After walking for no more than 15 minutes I ran into a friend who owns the restaurant called Texas BBQ. His name is JT and he used to live somewhere in Texas before moving to Odessa to open his own restaurant. Texas BBQ is more than just a restaurant it is a gathering place for english speakers and if you sit on the patio long enough speaking english your table will fill up with other travelers looking to chat. Before long we had a pretty nice group together and decided to go out to a fancy cafe called Falconi where we would listen to live music and drink Georgian wine. Here I met a new friend name Ann, together we drank wine, ate some food and listened to music. Ann doesn’t speak a lot of english and I don’t speak a lot of Russian but with our combined efforts we were able to communicate and enjoy the time together. After 2 glasses of wine I called it a night and went back to my hotel for some much needed sleep.
The next day I was awake bright and early due to my jet lag. After several cups of Starbuck’s instant coffee I decided to go for a run. This being my 6th trip to Odessa I have learned that if you run on the normal streets everyone looks at you a little weird. It isn’t illegal or anything it just isn’t normal. People do their fitness routine on a specific trail called the Health Trail. This trail starts at Odessa City Beach and follows the coast 6 kilometers to Arcadia Beach. Along the trail are plenty of small stations where you can stop and do pull ups, sit ups, push ups, ect. It is a beautiful run because it follows the coast line and is also closed to motorized vehicles.
Along this trail I also noticed many make-shift boxing gyms where people have take old tires and stacked them ontop of eachother to make heavy bags to practice their striking. I saw a few of these guys working out and to be honest they looked really tough. For me it was a good reminder that when it comes to fitness and health determination is everything and money is nothing.
After my morning run I decided to visit Travelers Coffee for breakfast. This is one of my favorite Cafe’s in Odessa. They are usually pretty busy so if you have your heart set on coming here its probably best to make a reservation. My favorite place to sit is on the outside terrace which is situated right in the middle of Deribasovskaya Street. For breakfast I had a poached egg, quinoa, avocado, tomatos, and red salmon caviar.
I spent the next few days doing much of the same things trying to rest and recover from my jetlag. During the day I would work from either my hotel, Texas BBQ, or Travelers Coffee. At night I would either socialize with others at some of the various places you can find english speakers or go to the Irish pub called Mick O’Neil’s where I could practice my Russian. All in all I enjoyed my stay in Odessa and will look forward to visiting again in late October!
Have a question about traveling to Odessa, Ukraine? Leave a comment below and I will do my best to help!