From Tiraspol to Odessa it’s not far but you would have to exit staight to Ukraine without getting a Moldovan exit stamp in your passport. So, to avoid any trouble with the Moldovan immigration police in the future and because I like walnut trees I took a little detour back to Moldovan officially controlled territory and got my Moldovan exit stamp in the very south where Moldova is only 2 kilometers away from the black sea. From there it’s only 50 km of bad road and heavy traffic to Odessa. And Odessa has also a very big statue telling you where you are. It’s so big they even have a police station in it.
It’s really not so easy to find the ocean but its good to be in Odessa. A very friendly atmosphere, two days of rest and Ukrainian banja helped me charge up my batteries for the next leg of the tour. I played a song on Odessa’s harbour, I hope you like it!
Selfie time! This is the only time I got close to the Black Sea. Most of the time it’s fenced or there’s a harbor or a terrible beach club or civil war.
So, to avoid problems with the border police I had to make a big circle around Crimea, the eastern Ukraine and Abkhazia, a detour of about 800km. Also I wasn’t able to cycle down the Black Sea as I naively thought I could and had to choose a way through the north caucasus.
This is on one of the rivers that feed the black sea.
While cycling a long slalom on a never ending road in central Ukraine I found a bus stop thats colours fit perfectly to my shirt, so I sat down and played a song about never ending roads. Anyways, I would have taken any excuse to make a stop.
Besides very friendly ukrainian people the roads are more a mental burden.
It’s like a very old c64 game I remember from the early 90, what was the name again?
I think in Ukraine they don’t even realize their coolness. This is in central Ukraine in a place called Новий Буг. From either side only reachable through at least 70 kilometers pothole track. Look, I even made a pic inside!
At this point I had to turn north towards Kharkiv to avoid the Lughansk and Donezk area. Novomoskovskiy Rayon has a nice sign too, blue and yellow.
These old soviet cars called Zhiguli are driving all over the place. Apparently they are easy to maintain and often need maintaining. This is on a bus stop somewhere in central Ukraine, bus stops are always a good place to buy dubious pastries and 3in1 on coffee (coffee, milk and sugar, all in one, no need to think about any extra!)
In Kharkiv I had the honour to be filmed with a proper Sony Alpha Camera by my amazing host in Andrej, I hope the traffic noise is not too loud. Ukraine, you’ve been very kind to me, thanks to all the lovely people I met there! – Next stop is the russian border.
The border crossing to Russia was quick and dirty. No questions, just the usual mistrustful look in my passport. And of course they always check my Kalashnikov – oh it’s just a guitar? Really? Who would have thought it!