07-Aug-2004 -- This was the first confluence we visited this summer. When we looked it
up on the map, we figured this one should be easy, as it appeared to lie
well within the city limits of Mikolaiv. Mikolaiv is one of the biggest
cities in the Ukraine with a bit more than half a million inhabitants
traditionally is the home for most of the Ukraine shipbuilding industry.
We started the hunt for the confluence point in Odessa. Because we went
to Odessa by train, which takes 40 hours from Austria, we were a little
tired at start.
The cheapest and fastest means of transportation between Odessa and
Mikolaiv are the frequently going mini busses, which take about 1,5 - 2
We got of the bus near the Zoo, about five kilometers from the
confluence point, took a taxi to the docks and walked the last two
The confluence lies in the outskirts of Mikolaiv, in a district
characterized by small houses with vegetable gardens, and unpaved alleys
On the way we could verify a rumor we had heard beforehand several
times: In Mikolaiv most of the manhole covers are missing. It seems
most of them have been stolen and sold as scrap metal. The gaping
manholes themselves are used as trash cans, and cause a lot of accidents
(especially at night).
We were worried that the confluence would be somewhere on private
property. We couldn't have explained to a resident there with our virtually
nonexistent Russian, why he should let a couple of suspicious looking
foreigners run around in his house or kitchen garden.
But soon we found the confluence at the doorstep of one of the houses in
one of the little alleys in the area.
We started making the pics and verifying the exact spot, and soon half
of the Neighborhood was watching us, obviously we were quite a change in
their Sunday routine. With a lot of hand waving we tried to explain to
the bystanders what we were doing, but I think we didn`t quite succeed.
Before we went back we spent some time at the zoo.