Looking for Lviv

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October 22nd 2008
Published: October 22nd 2008
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War MonumentWar MonumentWar Monument

Found this during my many-mile hike looking for parks.
Today I dedicated myself to finding Lviv, the one in the travelbooks. I searched for a park, found one, got lost, someone kindly escorted me back downtown. I took more photos of statues and building. I bought a Russain doll. I finally found a Ukranian restaurant (note: Lonely Planet book is out of date. One of their recommended restaurants is now a Greek bistro, and the other must have changed civic numbers) and had Ukranian borsh.
The problem I have with Lviv is the air pollution. Ladas and Mercedes and buses and taxis roar through the streets in the old city and the buildings and surrounding hills trap the exhaust. The high pressure that gives sunny days also traps fumes. Then there are the countless smokers in every public place. Cigarettes are very cheap, and sadly too many young people are puffin away.
As I've said before, the infrastructure is old and falling apart. There are signs of development all around. Bank buildings are especially modern. The downtown main street is bustling. How can so many people have the time to crowd the streets during work and school hours? I do not know. And why am I sweating in
Warm dayWarm dayWarm day

At this point I had to ask passerby where I was....using the map.
a t-shirt (going up hills to find the parks) when most people are in black leather or dark winter coats? Ukranian thin blood or need for fashion? And what is up with all these black, high heeler boots? Cliches are made up from regular life, and the downtown scene of Lviv feels like a fashion cliche. Am I too cynical? don't know
When I walk up into the artsy square, there are more teenagers with cell phones drinking beer beside the fountains than European tourists sipping lattes. And strolling amongst these people are the street performers or peasant women selling vegetables or flowers. I'll upload today's photos and you decide if this is 'the next Prague'. Maybe they should start slowly.....like being 'the next Wroclaw'?
Did I find Lviv?
Tomorrow I fly to Odessa.

Additional photos below
Photos: 31, Displayed: 23


First ParkFirst Park
First Park

Hmmmm, no where to walk here.
Empty ParkEmpty Park
Empty Park

Very few people here. The occasional mother with stroller or retired couple were walking along the paths.

Impressive entrance to empty park. (all the people are walking downtown)

O.K. back to the first time I asked for directions. The second time, nice person on way to work took me back to the city core.

So I returned to take photos of statues and buildings.
Lions and flowersLions and flowers
Lions and flowers

UP in the square
New LionsNew Lions
New Lions

I think this was the town hall.
Older buildingsOlder buildings
Older buildings

Many buildings are getting repairs.

Somebody is putting money into restoring the old buildings.
Pretty statuesPretty statues
Pretty statues

I like the faces that hold up balconies or doorways. They watch people below.
Main SquareMain Square
Main Square

This was the quietest part of downtown core.
Dog and goddessDog and goddess
Dog and goddess

I like this fountain.

I sat sipping a complicated coffee here. Me and the stone dog were people-watching.
Outside beersOutside beers
Outside beers

I decided to snap photos of people, starting with the long shots. Many young people were sipping (chugging) beer in the square.
Artsy photoArtsy photo
Artsy photo

One of my fav photos, you can see street musician, and in distance a garbage can is on fire (probably due to a cigarette). The music, smoke, sunny day....my memories of Lviv.
Stray dogStray dog
Stray dog

Several lone dogs were curled up in the streets or parks but they didn't seem starved. I think the locals feed them.
Narrow StreetsNarrow Streets
Narrow Streets

Can you see how exhaust fumes linger when there is no breeze?

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