From Odessa to Moldova

Chisinau (Moldova), 05.11.2013

Before leaving for a short drive into Moldova today, I went to see Odessa. This town had been associated to all kinds of dark prejudices, for reasons I cannot recall, since my childhood when I read about the port town, the Potemkin uprising and Eisenstein’s black and white film, jewish emigrants and bitter poverty. So the discovery of a pretty well kept old city center with baroque and neoclassical buildings came as a pleasant surprise. Continue reading “From Odessa to Moldova”

The Missile Base

Odessa (Ukraine), 04.11.2013

As if the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl hadn’t been enough, I went to see one more Soviet legacy today: a missile base half the way from Kiev to Odessa, at Pervomaysk, that had been ready to launch an atomic warhead until not too long ago. In the morning I packed my stuff and left Kiev in bright sunshine with 15 degrees. Driving slowly through the city center I could admire once more the surprisingly beautiful city. Continue reading “The Missile Base”


Kiev (Ukraine), 03.11.2013

After a few hours sleep I woke up for a tour of Chernobyl. I had read about visiting the place of the worst nuclear disaster ever many months ago in Der Spiegel and wanted to see it. I still remember hearing the news when I was a kid on the way to school. We couldn’t drink milk and eat vegetables for weeks at the time and nobody knew what exactly had happened. The incident made me read books about nuclear meltdown and ever since I have developed a lot of respect for anything nuclear. It seemed a technology hard to grasp with common measures for me at the time. So here it was, few km from Kiev, and at 09:00 I met the tour bus at Maidan square. Continue reading “Chernobyl”

To Kiev

Kiev (Ukraine), 03.11.2013

The road from Moscow to Kiev, door to door, was over 900 straight km. I had to turn at only 5 points: 1 in Moscow to cross the Moskva, 1 shortly before the border with Ukraine, 1 before reaching Kiev and 2 in Kiev itself. The rest of the day (and night) I drove just straight ahead. I still couldn’t believe there are no proper highways in Russia, a rich and vast country with a lot of vehicles on its roads. I had plenty of time to convince myself there really are none. Continue reading “To Kiev”

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