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Published: October 22nd 2008
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 I finally found a Ukranian restaurant (note: Lonely Planet book is out of date.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
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.
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