Thursday, August 23, 2007

Trip to Lviv

One long weekend I went with Kyryl on a trip to Lviv. Lviv is in the western part of Ukraine which is a lot different than the Eastern part. As I have told that part was somehow more influenced by western countries. So in Lviv all people speak Ukrainian and the architecture is more like in old cities like Prague. As in Prague they also have a lot of tourists who are attracted by this 'history romanticism' and you can buy all the tourist knick knack you need.

The train was a bit more comfortable than the one I were in to Crimea but still very intimate. It takes about 20 hours to Lviv so we split the trip in two and spent one day in Kiev.

In Kiev we spent some time for finding presents because after Lviv Kyryl would go to Prague to meet his girlfriend, she is a photo model and lives in Denmark and he brought her many gifts. Kyryl is always very generous and one time he spent his entire salary to buy her some bling-bling. I guess I could be glad that this stuff is not modern in Denmark (his girlfriend is actually Russian).

This is Lviv, the road from the station. All the streets have this brick paving. A bit like in Prague but still with a particular Ukrainian touch.

We stayed with Kyryl's friends. They were not at home when we came so Kyryl picked the lock. This guy owns the apartment which used to be his mother's atelier and I think he is kind of a slacker, but he was nice.

One typical street in Lviv, but this is actually the Armenian quarter where they have an Armenian church. Lviv has more than 1 million people but it does not have a metro, they say they did not build a metro out of fear from ruining the architecture. One effect of this I think is that people are not as afraid of walking as in Kharkov, at least Kyryl's Lvivian friends did not mind dragging us several kilometers through the city.

In Lviv there are also geeks who dress up in glamourized historical outfits and pound away on each other. In the battle we watched later they where using these big metal swords (not sharp though) so I guess the armour was quite justified. They call it 'historical recreations' and it also seemsto be popular in Kharkov. I once went to a 'backyard party' in Kharkov where all the people were this kind of people and they invited me to come to Moscow next year to watch thousands of people reenact a battle from Lord Of The Rings. I don't know what is so historical about that though.

We met up with Kyryl's ex-girlfriend, bought some chocolate and cognac (but no cigars) and went to this nice view point. Then we had a crazy night. We went deep inside a dark forest to met a group of girls who were making pearls by a fire and smoking Kalian and then we went to a strange apartment of one of their friends and her parents rented us an apartment for 10 dollars. Then we went for several kilometers to that other apartment to find out that there were already some people there who had rented it. So in the early morning we ended up eating variniki in yet another apartment of one of the kalian girls.

This is the last place we ended up. She is an artist painter and her father is a carpenter and he made all the funny decorations.

The second day we were in Lviv my legs were quite sore (we had also been walking a lot in Kiev) and it was raining a lot so we were also just slacking. Then I caught the train alone all the way back to Kharkov and had time to read a nice book by Henry James.


Anonymous said...

seemed like it was a big adventure:D

Natalka said...

very very nice and true story about Ukraine and its regions.Thank you for this facinating article
//former lvivian now kyivian )))

Anonymous said...

"You have a actually interesting weblog. Too many blogs that I see now don't actually provide something that I am interested in, but I'm definately interested in this one. Just thought that I'd pass that message on. "

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?.

Søren said...

sure, feel free to use the text:) (but please make a reference..)

Anonymous said...

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work! Thumbs up, and keep it going!