Well Behind The Iron Curtain...

Lviv Travel Blog

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Lviv, Ukraine Day 1: 4/16/09

            Before even the crack of dawn we were up and in a taxi heading to the Bucharest airport. Today we are flying from Bucharest to Timisoara, Romania. Once there we have a 7 hour layover until we fly from Timisoara to Lviv, Ukraine. We are flying on Carpatair a Romanian airline. This will be my first flight on a propeller driven airplane; a SAAB 2000. I was quite surprised how quickly the plane took off from the runway. The flight over to Timisoara was a smooth one and a very quick one. Once in Timisoara we found some seats and plopped down for a 7 hour wait. I was not able to find a power source so my plans of watching a few movies was spoiled. I resorted to doing a lot of reading; just about finished off the book I am working on right now: 'JackDaws'. This whole ordeal will save us two very full days of train travel.

            The second leg of the flight was just as quick. The big diffrence is once we landed in Ukraine we had soldiers out to great the plane. I noticed one of them had with him a Wirehaired Fox Terrier, I assume they use him for searching bags. This is the same breed of dog I grew up with. Once off the plane we had to go through customs; that was quite the experience! We got in line then quickly were taken out of line to fill out some more of our papers, got back in line and then were told to get back out, then told to get back in. I got my Ukrainian entrance stamp, but Colin’s guy did not stamp his passport. Poor Colin! We gathered our bags then had to put them through a x-ray machine.”Great!” I thought when I noticed this, and began to prepare my story for the reason I am traveling with a collapsible baton. They were too busy looking for guns, drugs and the like that they paid my baton no attention. Now through all that we walked out of the airport and began our attempt to get into town. My guide book said which buses to take, but at the bus stop there is no numbers or timetable. Colin and I walked back over to one of the guys trying to get us to pay him for a ride into town. He told us $10 for the three of us, so we jumped into his car and he drove us into town. All three of us noticed we could not read a single sign so far. They do not use the Roman alphabet here, they us a Surilic alphabet. Ukrainian is very closely related to Russian. While driving down the road the driver in his best broken English was pointing out all the sights. We checked into our hostel in Lviv; the small little Ukrainian running it spoke at a million miles an hour. She sure could chat up a storm! After looking at two different rooms we decided to take one that had a little more room but a very funky bathroom which soon was bequeathed the shitter shower. Imagine a toilet shoved into a small closet just big enough for a normal size person to stand in, then add a sink with a shower head and toss in a shower curtain that can cover the door and that is our shitter shower. Colin and I joked around saying we can take care of everything at once without having to stand. We also had a little balcony that if one was not careful would find the quick way down to checkout. Now we were off to check out the city and find some food; I made sure to set the internal GPS in my head because there was no way we were finding our way back here by reading street signs. We walked the town for awhile stopping to have some drinks in a square then finding a cool little cafe tucked way down a dark alley. If it was not in my guide book there is no way we would have found it. Melinda and I had the best hot chocolate I have EVER tasted!! It was basically melted chocolate that had just enough liquidity to it to actually call it a drink; yummy!! We finally tracked down a buffet style place that has traditional Ukrainian food. The food was good and the price could not be beat! I am still so shocked how cheap it is too eat over here.

            Well we are calling it a night over here in Lviv.


Na dobranich, На добраніч from Ukraine.


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Lviv Hostels review
Quirky Place
This hostel is a very unique place. The girl at the desk who checked us in was very friendlily and helpful. We were shown two rooms to choose fro… read entire review
Lviv Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Follow the Blue Bottle
The Kavarna Pid Synoju Flazkoju (Cafe Under the Blue Bottle) is an authentic old style Lviv cafe. It is located in a vault room at the end of a dark … read entire review
photo by: Biedjee