In the course of our drive from the airport to the hotel, our taxi driver came to learn that we were planning to head to Odessa the next day. In true taxi driver fashion, he offered to drive us and save us the trouble and discomfort of going by bus. Of course, it would be a bit more expensive, but with the promise to make a stop at a winery along the way and the luxury of air conditioning and a much quicker border crossing, we told him we'd think about it and give him a call in the evening.
In the end we agreed on a pick-up time and a price and were able to sleep in and enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading out of town with our new taxi driver friend.
Just outside of the city he made a quick roadside stop and came back with grapes for us all to enjoy on during the journey.
About halfway through the trip we also made our promised stop at the winery, which was absolutely beautiful. A wedding happened to be taking place there as well and he talked the bride into letting us peek our heads in for a little bit.
|Vineyards as far as the eye can see|
|Beautiful hall where we enjoyed a glass of wine|
|One of a few small ponds on the property|
By the time we got to the Ukrainian border we were relieved to see absolutely no line and got our passports stamped and were on our way in no time at all.
Our hotel in Odessa was as in the center of the city as you could possibly get and the only thing I could even think to complain about is the unpredictable elevator doors, but everything else was absolutely ideal!
We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening exploring the city until we found ourselves at the beach, where the moonlight guided us along the shore with sand between our toes and waves splashing our legs and feet. After a quick beer back in the city we were ready to call it a night, knowing that we had an extra early morning and a big adventure ahead of us the next day.
|First signs of Odessa|
|Odessa Opera House|
|Inside of the old shopping passage|
|In front of the Opera|
|Fountains, fountains everywhere!|