Monthly Archives: July 2016
Our good friends Lena & Sasha (from Odessa) came to visit us in Kherson for the weekend. We thought we would first take a walk along the river close to where Anastasia lives. We stopped to relax with a beer and shwarma.
Next we thought we would check out the Botanical Gardens (which is near the bus station) but we were sadly disappointed as it was very over-grown and was in need of some TLC. Perhaps it is better in the spring but in the heat of the summer, not many people visit for sure. Later in the evening we went back to our favourite bar (“Chocolate”) in downtown. We had dinner, enjoyed a few mojitos and the hookah of course.
The next day was very hot, so we chartered a pontoon boat to take us on a tour of the Dnieper River which runs through Kherson. It was a lot cooler on the water and we enjoyed cooling ourselves off swimming in the river.
It was very nice to be back in Odessa after 3 years away. A lot was the same, but a lot had changed as well. We checked into our hotel, but unfortunately the great deal we found was not quite up to the standards we expected. Nevertheless we decided to stay and pushed the two single beds together. We went out by ourselves to get a drink and dinner around 8:45 pm. We went to Fanconi in hopes of getting one of their awesome strawberry daiquiris only to find out that it was new owners, with a new menu, and no more daiquiris 🙁 We found something to eat & drink and had an early night.
The next day we tried the free breakfast at the hotel and weren’t particularly fond of it. We walked around a bit then settled into Kompot for coffee and snacks while I did a few hours work from my laptop. In the evening we met up with with Elena in City Gardens for dinner and we drank various cocktails as well as trying the Hookah. We were waiting for Mike to join us after the Football (soccer) game was over but in the end we were tired and went back to the hotel before he arrived.
The next morning we again tried the free breakfast and decided not to do it anymore. We walked around again and I took the required photo of me in front of the bull at the Steak House restaurant. The bull there is re-painted many times a year to match the season / holiday, so it is always interesting to see what it looks like when you arrive. However, this is the first time it was mounted up on the bar. At lunch we had a shawarma and met up with Mike at Kompot. We talked with Mike for an hour and agreed to meet up later for dinner. We met up with Elena near Central Gardens and waited for Mike to join us around 8:15 pm. We then walked to a restaurant where a couple other guys joined us for dinner as well. Was great to see old friends again.
We ended up going back to Fanconis for another drink but we didn’t last long before heading back to the hotel after 2:00 am
The next morning we skipped the free breakfast and went to Kompot. After that we checked out of the hotel and took a taxi to the bus station. Another 4 hour bus ride back to Kherson.
We took a 10 hour over night bus ride from Kherson to Kiev to submit a South Africa visa application for Anastasia. We got off the bus at 07:30 am in Kiev and got a coffee while we waited for the Embassy to open at 09:00 am. We found the building without to much problem but it was interesting getting to the correct floor. On the outside of the building it said was on the 8th floor. Inside the elevator it said it was on the 6th floor. When we got there it said we were on the 7th floor (but in Ukrainian 8th floor). After a couple tries we had all the paperwork in order and were able to successfully submit the visa.
It had been 5 hours since we got off the bus and we headed to the bus station to buy tickets to Odessa to visit friends. After another hour we were on the bus to Odessa. It was only a 7.5 hour bus ride… whew. By 19:40 (7:40 pm) we were already in Odessa looking for our hotel (that I booked from the bus).
Well the original plan was not to be in Ukraine for Canada Day, but we made the most of it. All I had was my Red Roots shirt so I wore that. We ventured to downtown Kherson and wandered around a bit. First we stopped at “Istantbul” where we waited for 20 minutes without service. So we got up and went over to “Beer Cave”. Anastasia tried a Pina Colada and was extremely disappointed, but I guess what do you expect from a place called Beer Cave. So we called up Anastasia’s friend Anastasia … this is going to get confusing now. While we were waiting for her we wandered over to “Chocolate”. A very nice outside restaurant by day and karaoke night club in the evening. The mojitos were exquisite. The food was very good as well. And the Hookah was awesome. We stayed there a long time and toasted “Canada Day”. Maybe a couple too many mojitos but all was good.