Board Yuzhnaya Palmyra for Black Sea crossing to Istanbul, Turkey
Odessa Travel Blog› entry 14 of 29 › view all entries
October 15th, 2007 – by: oriel
LEAVING UKRAINE FOR TURKEY
Our driver picked us up early in the morning to ensure we would be properly accommodated for our trip across the Black Sea on the Yuzhnaya Palmyra. However when we arrived at the Passanger Terminal below the Potemkin Steps, we were informed that the passenger manifest had not yet arrived and they wouldn't know if we were booked until 10:00am. Thus began a whole day of waiting and wondering whether we would make the voyage or not.
Our driver was in animated conversation with CAM Travel in Kyiv - who had been 100% reliable in every aspect of our tour up to this point - and, as it turned out, this time as well.
Although the ship's departure was being delayed for some reason, we did not know how long we would have to wait so we were reluctant to leave the waiting area. Finally, we checked our luggage into a baggage holding room and went out to photograph the harbour and the area of the city above the Potemkin Steps.
The harbour was extremely busy and the horizon for almost 350 degrees around was crowded with container cranes, docks, and merchant shipping and the land approaches were lined with railway freight cars. We saw a sailing ship, the Druzhba, tied up a few hundred metres away from the terminal - a year earlier we had seen its sister ship the Pallada from Vladivostok at Port Alberni's Festival of Sails.
As the delay extended, we ventured farther and farther from the terminal, up the Potemkin Steps and into the old city above with its many examples of fin de siecle architecture. Fortunately, the day was warm and the sky clear for mid-October and the area was rich in architectural treasures. We were able to divert ourselves from the delays for a while but after an hour or so we went back down the Potemkin Steps and into the terminal.
Finally, late in the afternoon we were notified that departure time was approaching and we would be allowed to proceed through customs. We cleared exit proceeding without difficulty and attempted to board the ship on a gangway that was definitely not designed for those with heavy luggage.
We went up on deck to watch the ship pull away from the dock and to get our last glimpse of Ukraine as the sun set. I rtook a picture of the ship's flag in front of the Potemkin Steps. After we left port, I went back to our stateroom to rest a bit while Alex stayed on deck. Suddenly she burst into the room saying "There's a blood-red sunset out there! Get your camera!" We rushed up the stairs but by the time we arrived the sun was below the horizon and Ukraine was far astern.
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