Flight Centre's Mark Boyd returns to one of his favourite destinations, the Ukraine. Mark visits Kiev and Odessa on the Black Sea. Mark gives us the inside story on why he keeps returning to the Ukraine.
Sure, staying with friends and family is one of the best ways to really embrace the life style that is on offer in another country - or culture. The two places that I've been to the most are Odessa, a great place for a summer vacation right on the Black Sea, and the other is the capital, Kiev.
As with most European countries, the history can be overwhelming. The Ukraine is a country that only relatively recently broke from the USSR and is still trying to find its feet. Kiev is a beautiful city, quite large and with plenty of things to do and see.
Odessa is the place where Ukrainians go to spend their summer vacation. Odessa is a beautiful city and has a seaport opposite the famous 100 steps to the city. Odessa used to be the main port of entry into Russia. It is well worth a trip to the opera house which is covered with gold decor and statues.
Another attraction is the catacombs where the local people took refuge during World War Two. It is a triple story maze that twirls beneath the entire city of Odessa, painfully created by hand. It was made out of sand stone and shows what extreme conditions were dealt with in the past.
The best clubs are in an area called Acardi. They are open roofed with a complete mixture of cultures. In the Ukraine there is always a fun journey at hand, but it can be expensive especially if you are flying into Odessa.
There are more options if you enter through Kiev. But once you are there, your dollar will stretch like you've never seen before. On the last visit there, the dollar was about six to one and a bottle of vodka cost about AUD$4.50. The food is nourishing and very tasty. The local meat and seafood markets are an eye opener.
Looking for more information about travelling to the Ukraine? Contact Mark Boyd, an International Travel Consultant with Flight Centre based in Southport, Queensland who can be reached at 1300 159 646.