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Mark Twain trip to Odessa

USS Quaker City

You know who were one of the first travelers to Odessa from abroad? I can tell you at least about one quite a remarkable trip of the first cruise, which came to Odessa in 1867, August 25. It was “Quacker City” ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean from the far New York and with quite noble and famous people, mostly businessmen, who were also much interested in getting to know this part of the world and Odessa in particular.

It must be noticed here that there was also one passenger who became famous more lately but certainly known in all over the world. This famous passenger was Mark Twain, the famous writer who was a correspondent of an American newspapers Tribune and Gerald being known there as Langhorne Clemens.

So what was interesting is the impression that was made onto the passengers by their acquaintance with Odessa. And our famous visitor expressed this impression.

Mark Twain

Betsy who worked in the embassy and were much exited about Odessa and knowing Russian pretty good met the visitors. She was the guide who led the improvised excursion by the streets of Odessa.

The vivid atmosphere of Odessa was also seen in Betsy who was so energetic and exited in her narrations about Odessa life: business of Odessa, its traditions like selling perfect wine in buckets and even ink that was also sold in buckets that made the tourists a little sad as they did not have buckets with them to get some onto the board. The couleur locale of selling goods was quite amusing. The got into a shop with fur coats where Mark saw nice violins sold there too and to buy a violin you had to buy 3 fur coats too. NiceJ

The visitors much enjoyed ice cream with honey that the managed to taste but as you guessed it was sold also in buckets.

As any city has some monuments the monument of Duke de Richelieu met the visitors near the incredible and so huge and now famous stairs – Potyomkinskay stairway.

The city made a pleasant impression: it looked very alike as usual American city with broad streets with white acacia on the sidewalk, much business people, vivid sellers in local shops.

But this unexpectedly pleasant trip came to an sudden end as so as we were informed by the ambassador that emperor Alexander the second would meet the delegacy in Yalta and such a news made all of them much exited about the future meeting.

It was August 25, 1867 the ship was met by all the citizens (all – meant one thousand and five hundred people) it was unforgettable day. All the Americans got onto several carriages and landau and went to Livadia – the Emperor’s palace.

The emperor impressed the visitors by his plain clothes and sincere open meeting as if being a usual man.

Mark Twain read his greeting prepared beforehand on which The Emperor thanked wisely and offered his guide service around the palace. All his family as well as the host much enjoyed and proudly showed the palace and the park and then invited everybody for a breakfast, which was the lemon tea with sushka (cracker ring). The tea was incredible as well as the palace beauty.

Mark and Amrericans were much impressed with way they were met: the emperor meeting the visitors showed the attitude to the Americans even more expressing and significant that it could be shown when meeting official delegacy. And it worked. When saying good-bye to the hospitable Black Sea everybody felt much sad but festive at the same time.

So the cruise was almost over but unforgettable and much positive for our famous passenger as s o as he also met Charls Langdon who introduced twain to his sister Olivia who became Mark’s wife. Such a happy journey to Odessa.

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