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Wojciech's Travel log

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You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced...

Log entries 71 - 80 of 1937 Page: 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

May 09, 2017 12:00 AM Tram no.1 - rather walk along the line!

Tram no.1 - rather walk along the line! -From the hostel to the railway station take the tram no.1 - it cost just 2 hryvnia! I left the hostel at 7.10 am, the tram stop is just near. I was waiting 20 minutes, tram did not arrived, I decided to take an energetic walk along the line to the station. This was good decision because I did not see any tram going along that way... At 7.57 am, a bit sweaty I boarded marshrutka in front of the Lviv main station. It departed 3 minutes later. Bingo!
It took us 2 hours to reach Sheginia - little village at the border crossing to Poland. They charge 38 hryvnia for such a 80 kms journey with some visits of the side villages on the way.
In Sheginia there are money changers plus few little shops, so I spent my last hryvnias buying Ukrainian bread and took 200 m walk to the border crossing. On Ukrainian side there were no queues. It seems that they were not happy to see Russian visa in my passport. But there were also visas of China, Tajikistan and border stamps of Brazil, Argentina, Chile and more... :) So why? Soon I walked onward to Polish side. Here is the drama: the crowd of some 200 Ukrainians blocks the narrow passage. There is separate line for EU citizens, but they do not respect that and some 30 people stays also there pushing each other. Hard to discribe. There is significant difference in the price of cigarettes and alcohol, so they are bringing it to Poland, many times each week... I managed to get through the pushing crowd after some 40 minutes... On the Polish side the city bus to Przemysl was waiting to take me to the Przemysl railway station just for 2 zlotys. Uff... I am back in Poland!

May 08, 2017 12:00 AM Meeting great Ukrainian Travellers

Meeting great Ukrainian Travellers In Transcarpatians I met an American from Oregon. He gave me a contact to the big Ukrainian traveller - Orest Zub. I met him and his charming wife Marta. They are passionate travellers like me and I enjoyed very much our meeting. We spent few hours talking about places, impressions, exchanging travel tips. I like the discussions with such a experienced people they not only smile, but they also know, what you are talking about... And - what a coincidence! - we came to the conclusion that we will sail on the same ship across Atlantic in September. In the afternoon Orest offered me car excursion to Zolkiev - historic town near Kiev with the castle, monastery and few nice churches. Thank you so much, Orest!
I managed also to visit Lychakovski Cemetery where you can find graves of many Polish nobles, professors, writes and first of all - soldiers fallen in the bolshevik war. History... Memories...

May 07, 2017 12:00 AM Lviv - Lwów after years...

Lviv - Lwów after years... I have been here for the first time as a student - at a soviet time the city was rather grey with limited churches open. So how looks Lviv today?. Once you leave the station building the first impression is not so pleasant. Hoes in the sidewalks, garbage around... But the landscape is improving closer to the old centre. More painted buildings, garbage bins... They still have here trams in the narrow streets!
I booked accommodation in The Panorami hostel. Centrally located with a balcony overlooking wide Svobody boulevard charges 250 hryvnia for single, but it is the end of positives. The room is cramp, no chair, one locked window 2m above the floor looking not to the street but to the next dormitory. No ventilation except through the open door. Poor service - the check in took me almost an hour: first they was not able to find my reservation, then they wanted to charge me twice more than confirmed. In the late afternoon I took a walk to the old market and bright latin cathedral. Yes, old Lviv is worth to be on the UNESCO World Heritage list! More tomorrow...

May 06, 2017 12:00 AM Ivano-Frankivsk or Stanislawow

Ivano-Frankivsk or Stanislawow It seems that only 4 trains per day depart from nice railway station in Kolomyya to the north. Pity... For the first time in Ukraine I boarded European-standard train to Ivano. For one-hour journey I paid 100 hryvnia - like 4 USD, but it was worth - they offer even clean toilet aboard! Provincial capital town Ivano-Frankivsk before the WW2 was Polish city Stanislawow. History... at the end of the wars the winners take it all... :)
Most of the nice architecture is here from Polish period... There is nice pedestrian street, city market, pretty churches (one of them converted into art museum). But the most important is that I am lucky because they just celebrate the City Day - with plenty of music and other entertainment in the sunny streets. Let's enjoy!
I recognized that in the evening in the little Philharmonic Hall the artists from Budapest will perform the semi-stage version of the brilliant operetta "Silvia" known also as Princess of Chardash. Entry is free, but only by invitations... Well, in such a situations I play foreign correspondent. No Russian, English only! It works! I got a seat in the first row, and enjoyed my favorite arias and duets :) What a day!

May 05, 2017 12:00 AM Kolomyya - Ukraine

Kolomyya - Ukraine Finally I am in the big town! Kolomyya has about 60 thousands inhabitants and a rich history. I was walking about an hour from the bus station to my Oasis mini-hotel at the end of Tchekhov Street. Once my bacpack was stored I went to the picturesque center of the town to enjoy the charm of old, narrow streets and the real life of the local market, where dozens of babushkas sell home-made cream, egs and cheese. Kolomyya has city hall, new Greek Catholic Cathedral and two interesting museums. One of them is Pysanka Museum - pysanka, known also in Polish culture is an brightly painteg egg. They prepare it for the celebration of ghe Easter. In Pysanka museum (entry 25 hryvnia) the most beautiful eggs are on display - thousands of them!
And in front of the building there is probably the biggest pysanka of the world to be photographed by the tourists.
Second museum - also worth a visit is a museum of tgd Hutsul culture (entry costs 40 hryvnia). There are handicrafts, costumes, paintings and more. Enough for the full day!

May 04, 2017 12:00 AM Yeremche on the Prut River

Yeremche on the Prut River Before the WW2 it was a part of Poland. At this time Yaremche was a fancy mountain spa on the altitude around 600 m, with the moderate climate and the high society coming for rest. Now it has many new hotels and brand-new Greek Catholic church in the centre. I was lucky to be there just after the marriage ceremony and take few interesting pictures. What is interesting, that the people for such a exceptional occasion wear national costumes!
Then I took a walk to the Probiy Waterfall on the Prut River located just 500 m off the town upstream Prut River. It is not hibgh but still quiet impressive. They built a bridge over the fall so you can cross to the other side where is big tourist market and... recently built huge luxury hotel.
I stay on the other end of the town in the private villa proudly called "Pension u Myrona" They charge 320 hryvnia for room and breakfast, but to get wi-fi signal uyou have to go from your room downstairs. I have the excellent view of the green mountains from my window instead.

May 03, 2017 12:00 AM The road of holes

The road of holes Secondary roads are full of holes in Ukraine. Today I took a bus to Verkhovyna - a big Hutsul village on the Cheremosh River. It was just one hour drive, but very tiring due to the bumps. Somwhere in the middle of the route we reached the pass 1040 m above sea, I believe.
In Verkhovyna sun appeared and I enjoyed the view of the snowcapped Chernohora Range. There is also picture-postcard orthodox church.
Then I walked few km down the river to Krivorivnija - famous for the landscapes and Hutsul Museum, there is also nice wooden church from 18th century surrounded by colorful cemetary.
Can you imagine? Since four days I did not see any other foreign tourist! This can give you the idea where I am and how authentic is my environment here. I like it!
I returned to Vorokhta by the same bumpy road, paying 23 hryvnia for one hour trip. Do you remember my travel on the Siberian Road of Bones? This route can be called Road of Holes! :)

May 02, 2017 12:00 AM To the end of the railroad and onward...

To the end of the railroad and onward... In the early morning I said goodbye to the friendly hosts from Marketti Guest House. Oksana gave me hot croissants for the second breakfast... Lovely people! At the station I bought the ticket to Solotvino - the last station on this line going along the Romanian border. In Solotvino it is dead end of the rail track. The ticket cost me 15 hryvnia - 60 cents for 3 hours travel in the junk car.
In Solotvino 2 I found the "Avtostanica" - the bus station some 400 m on the main road and I bought the ticket for the 10.55 bus to Rahiv (29 hryv). The bus departed 15 minutes before the schedule (nobody complained).
The road was bumpy and the driver was driving like in the ski slalom... Uff...but the views! Long time we were going along the border river Tisa with soldiers wandering around. Then there was a mountain valley and the monument "Geographical centre of Europe" on the left with huge tourist bazaar. We reached little mountain township of Rakhiv in the midday. New railroad to Kolomyia starts here. At 12.30 pm there was a train departing to Kiev. I jumped on it, paying (as the others do) 10 hryv to the conductor. It was 2 hours of fantastic journey up to the mountain pass through the tunnels and viaducts. I saw the highest peak of Ukraine - Mt Howerla surprisely covered by snow. I left the train in Worohta station. I planned to climb Howerla. Is this possible?

May 01, 2017 12:00 AM Last frontier of Ukraine

Last frontier of Ukraine In the morning I took a junk train to Vinohradiv. My ticket cost 9 hryvnia - like 40 US cents for one hour journey. There were many stops in small villages on our route. New people embarked train and the conductor collected money from them. He has modern ticket printing machine but he do not print any ticket. It looks like a good business. Does he share the income with the colleagues in the locomotion? We are now close to the Romanian border, through the window I saw a lot post-soviet ruins...
Vinohradiv is a cozy little town with 5 or more churches of different orientation. There is also nice palace of Hungarian family Perenyi (it was Hungary here in the past) with nice, but run-down park around - see the picture.
At the end of the township you will see on e hill a romantic ruin of the castle built in 14th century...
Three days a week a narrow- track railway can take you in the toy-train to nearby Khmelnik. I hoped I will use it today. I forgot that today is May 1st - holiday. They should operate, because more people have day off and they can go and enjoy. But this is Ukraine - the staff prefere to rest... In the little Vinohradiv I found lovely pension run by Ukrainian-Italian couple. It is called Guest House Marketti - Gichki street 23. It is hard to find elsewhere in Ukraine such a nice family atmosphere and such hospitable and helpful people. Highly recommend! They charge like 13 USD per huge room with great breakfast. Wi-fi is excellent. Oksana speaks Russian and basic English...

Apr 30, 2017 12:00 AM Elektrichka to Berehove

Elektrichka to Berehove I decided to continue travel by rail - also because the bus station is quite far. In the soviet-style station building in Mukachewe I bought the ticket for elekrichka - short distance train -hto Berehove. It cost me 18 hr - less then 1 USD, but the standard of travel in the old, junk and dirty car was adequate to this price. After half an hour I made the connection in Batevo for another 40 min journej. People in the car spoke... Hungarian.
In Berehove I was walking half an hour to the historic hotel Arany Pava - Golden Peacock. City is small, cozy, sleepy and nice.
Hotel is located in the heart of the old town... It has a charm, but half of the building is still in ruin. In the nearest bazaar I bought fresh fruits and vegies - they cost pennies. Kesenem seypem! Hungarian is everpresent They say that 95 % of the population here are Hungarians. I went to the Sunday mass in thd catholic church and the servise was also in Hungarian. So why they are in Ukraine? History... Hungary loose in the WW1 for Chechoslovakia, after WW2 as a result of Soviet dictate it was Soviet property. Ukraine get it from USSR.
Trees are in blossom here, but it is cold. I expect improvement tomorrow....

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