It appears I have been a bit slack…I have not blogged for 5 days which is just bloody idle and I should be flogged. However, if it in anyway helps my case, I have been having a really good time.
I have basically finished what was the first phase of my trip and I can’1t believe that it is over already (how time fly’s etc!!). As I type this I am sat by the pool of the Ibiza resort, on Arcadia beach in Odessa and having a damm nice day, thank you very much!
I last blogged as I was on route back to Bucharest, so to bring you up to date.
I had booked a Hostel in Bucharest that described itself as rustic and that is certainly one way you could describe it. It was an old ‘town house’ type building that could feature on a reality TV program about hoarders. My room had the aromatic aroma of cat piss and set your eyes and nose on fire as soon as you walked in. The bed was a scale model of the alps but without the views and the shower was a tiny little room, just next to the sink in the kitchen, that had no light, no shower head and two settings of ‘volcanic or absolute zero’. The owners were two hippies (one Romanian & one Canadian) and there was a guy, who I think was a guest, who never got out of his dressing gown. You wont be surprised to hear it was reasonably cheap and if truth be told it was actually…..a proper shithole.
I set out to explore Bucharest (The capital of Romania) and again took the free walking tour. Not sure what people know about Bucharest, so here are a few points.
1) Nicolae Ceausescu was it’s famous communist president and he was responsible for creating the Huge & magnificent buildings that are in the centre of the city.
2) In doing so he managed to almost make the country bankrupt, he borrowed money from the Americans and reduced every public service within the country to the barest minimum.This eventually lead to revolution and ultimately the execution of both him and his wife by firing squad (available to watch on YouTube…..really!).
3) Vladimir the Impaler used to live in the city. He once beat an army 20 times stronger than his using only physiological warfare. He lined the route of the advancing army with bodies of those he captured, impaled on stakes, every 50 meters (they took 2 days to die, as they became so good at impaling them). It’s known as the ‘battle that never happened’
4) When we arrived at the statue of ‘Vladimir The Impaler’, the tour guide asked “who is this?”…an American girl answered “Nikolai Tesla?”
5) At the oldest church in the city, the tour guide asked “what influences in construction can you see in the building?” There was Ottoman & European and one idiot said Chinese and everyone laughed…that idiot was me and I still think I was kind of right!...Bastards!
6) To make room for the construction of the imperialistic buildings, Ceausescu ordered the old city centre demolished. To save important buildings some some of his more astute advisors organised for buildings to be completely lifted and moved 100s of meters to another location. In a truly amazing operation many buildings were saved in a 2-3 month period….it was such a great feat of engineering that Ceausescu then took the credit for it being done!.
Whilst in Bucharest I carried out a detailed map appreciation & time and distance exercise for my route to Kiev. I decided I had a little time to play with so made the decision to go firstly to The capital of Moldova (Chisinau), for a couple of days & then to Odessa before I headed to Kiev….Why? Well never been to either….Moldova was a country that was conveniently “on route” and the name Odessa sounds cool as F@@k (also I read the ‘Odessa File’ not that long ago so…er..well you know?).
I have to be really Honest…I did not see that much of Chisinau as on my arrival on the Friday, I ran into an international consortium of travellers who were all stopping at the same hostel as me. There were:- 2 Americans, 2 Spaniards, an Argentinian & me and we all decided to go out for a swift half! (After I’d watched Coventry City get to Wembley), At half four in the morning I was lost in Chisinau, unable to remember the name of my hostel or even the names of my closest relatives. I have vague recollections of sitting in a taxi, and then being woke up by the driver because I’d just got in an fell asleep. Some primitive homing instinct must have kicked in, as I woke up in bed, in the correct hostel, with the mother of all hangover’s This led to Saturday being cancelled with mucho lying around and eating really greasy food!
We had a pleasant day on the Sunday and actually had a few sociables and everyone there was a really cool guy, who had travelled extensively and shared similar views on the world as I did.
On the Monday I headed into Ukraine and to Odessa. The city is on the sea and I just planned to chill out and sun bathe for a few days, but big thanks to Dennis Curry who put me in touch with his friends in Odessa, who then gave me some really good tips, due to which I’m now doing a little touring and going to watch a football match which is a relegation dog fight.
After Odessa the next phase of my trip begins and its party time for about a month to 6 weeks. The World Cup is beckoning and I love it; It is the biggest and best party on the planet, with representatives from whole footballing world there having fun and following a common passion. This is my third World Cup (if you want to read about mine and Parker Jon’s adventures at others please follow this link. https://www.davemillscontinentaldrift.com/previous-adventures-1 and I really really cant wait.