Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
I had visited Odessa during the Soviet Union times, for one day, and could only visit the famous Potemkin Steps, the monuments to Pushkin and Catherine the Great, temples and cathedrals, parks and nice buildings, etc. The city is rather small, with about 1 million inhabitants, so I could go everywhere on foot, although sometimes I boarded a tramway.
Then in the year 2009 I returned again to that city, when Spaniards did not need visa to travel to Ukraine, and could visit it deeper during two full days.
In that second time I discovered that Odessa was a sister city of Valencia (at a distance of 2622 kilometers), and knew more about the founder of the city, the Spaniard officer Jose de Ribas.
Jose’s father was Spanish, from the city of Barcelona, and was appointed by the Spanish Government Consul of Naples, city where Jose was born, in the times when Spain ruled the south of Italy (The Kingdom of Naples), therefore he is considered Spanish.
He joined the Russian Army as a member of the Spanish nobility and fought with success against the Turkish in Crimea and the south of Ukraine, founding the city of Odessa in the year 1794.
A monument is devoted to him and also a street, called Deribasovskaya.
During these days I used to drink kvas every day in the streets when I was thirsty, and ate in central Deribasovskaya Ulitsa (Street) Ukrainian typical dishes, such as borsch, and for drinking I always asked the Ukrainian liquor horilka (or gorilka).
The third day I traveled from Odessa to Tiraspol, in Transnistria.
Date posted: July 2013
Have you been to Historic Center of the Port City of Odessa? Share your experiences!