Everyone raves about Odessa – how beautiful it is, how much fun it is, how alive it is. These people must have been there in summer.
I found Odessa dead boring. I wish I’d skipped it completely, as there was basically nothing to do there. It was cold and windy, the streets were almost empty, none of the museums were open and it certainly was NOT swimming weather. It felt like the city had closed down at the end of peak season.
I’m sure if you go there during the summer it’s a wonderful place – if you like the beach and not much else. I mean the top attraction in the city is a staircase. Sure, it’s an optical illusion staircase where it looks the same width the whole way, and a famous scene from a famous movie was shot on them, but when it comes down to it? It’s just a freaking staircase.
The city also boasts a statue of Catherine the Great – apparently a lot of people aren’t too happy about it, but they’re supposed to be getting a Lenin statue too so that might make them feel a little better.
There’s a wide tree-lined footpath/boulevard that is supposed to be full of life…again I’m pretty sure this applies to summer only. The only people there were a few mothers with prams, and some homeless men asleep on benches. Hardly the centre of activity!
I did enjoy tasty but overpriced fajitas and margaritas at a Mexican restaurant – I was craving something with a bit of flavour and spice. And I bought myself a couple of jumpers at an op-shop [thrift shop/charity shop]. That’s about as exciting as it got in Odessa. I wouldn’t bother going back there – it felt like the single most overrated town in the country.