Blogs from Lviv, Ukraine, Europe


Europe » Ukraine » Lviv January 11th 2020

7-8-9 janvier La lumière s'allume alors qu'il n'est que 5h15am, seul dans ma capsule ferroviaire. Quelques lampadaires incisent la nuit par le hublot alors que, brinquebalant, le wagon semble vouloir ralentir pour certainement me déposer à ma destination finale. Je pose enfin le pied sur les quais de L'viv ( Lion) alors qu'un épais rideau cache encore le jour sur la ville. Dans la gare endormie, je m'actionne un café instantané avant de me convaincre d'attendre le levé du soleil pour me lancer à pied vers la vieille ville, à quelque part par-là. Vers les 8h00am, alors que le mouvement de la ville devient plus visible, je m'élance à pied vers l'auberge qui me logera pour mes prochains jours ici. Étrangement pour moi, c'est le jour de Noël aujourd'hui en Ukraine. Prévoyant le coup, j'ai dû ... read more
Odeur de saucisse
Marché de Noël, L'viv

Europe » Ukraine » Lviv December 23rd 2019

23rd Dec: The journey to Lviv from Krakow can only be described as a nightmare. What should only take a few hours, ended up taking forever due to lazy border staff. While I would expect some queuing, a couple of hours max, sitting at the border for 8 hours is just ridiculous. I had to lol when after finally clearing Ukrainian immigration one of the bus drivers announced that we had entered the Ukraine. Then we stopped at a service station for about half an hour. I don't have the patience for these kinds of journeys. Finally, we arrived at the bus station in Lviv around two in the afternoon, when we were scheduled to arrive at 6 am. I couldn't be bothered to deal with the bus and had booked a taxi transfer to my ... read more
Masoch Cafe

Europe » Ukraine » Lviv October 21st 2019

After our previous visit to the Masochist Bar, we spent part of Sunday evening in yet another one of Lviv's more unusual bars. There is no sign for Kryjivka. An unmarked passage leads from the Rynok or Main Square towards a bland looking door. Rap on the door and entry is by password only. A hatch opens and a grand fatherly figure in military gear demands the password. Glory to the Ukraine or Slava Ukraine sees the door opened and you are allowed entry. There is a further test. Russians are not welcome in this hotbed of nationalism. A nationality other than Russian entitled you to a small shot of vodka, before you are pointed down the stairs into the belly of the bar. The bar makes out that it is all cutting edge and secret, ... read more
Lychakiv Cemetery, Lviv
Kawiarnia Mikolasha Cafe, Lviv

Europe » Ukraine » Lviv October 19th 2019

Whilst we are in the western Ukraine about to watch our first game in the country, we are in a city regarded as the birthplace of Polish football. Lviv is also the "Polish" birthplace of other sports. In January 1905, the first Polish ice-hockey match took place there and in 1907, the first ski-jumping competition was organised nearby. The city has ironically made a stab at bidding for a future winter Olympics so we could see it back at the forefront of ski jumping in the years to come. In the same year, the first Polish basketball games were organised in Lviv's gymnasiums. In 1887, the first track and field competition with such sports as the long jump and high jump was held. The political boundaries of day however saw Lviv athlete, Władysław Ponurski, represent Austria ... read more
Lviv Statue of Liberty
Ultras Banderstadt,  Karpaty Lviv

Europe » Ukraine » Lviv October 18th 2019

Lviv is awash with bars. There is nothing unusual in the majority, but down an otherwise unremarkable street leading away from the Rynok a dark secret awaits. A bronze statue marks the entrance, which is a tribute to a Lviv inhabitant of yesteryear - Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. The name admittedly doesn't trip off the tongue. Herr Masoch would lend his name to the subject of sexual pleasure from pain and subjugation i.e. masochism. Old Leopold was an Austrian nobleman, who resided in these parts in the mid 1800s. A writer and a journalist, he gained some renown for his romantic stories. His best known work, Venus in Furs from 1870, explores the very un-Victorian subject of his understanding of sexual relationships. It is probably fair to say, they were unconventional for the time. This is a ... read more
St George's Cathedral, Lviv
Lviv Railway Station

Europe » Ukraine » Lviv October 17th 2019

"We have a secret to tell you". These are not my words, but those of an advertisement stencilled on a wall. I spotted it, as we wandered down a random street on our first afternoon in Lviv. It was for a beauty parlour and nail bar, but it neatly sums up our trip to the largest city in the western Ukraine. It might be a bit of a secret for now in UK travelling circles, but it will soon be out. The other advertising slogan for the beauty window stated merely "You are in the right place". If you read on through this and the next few blogs in my mini series, we can pass on some of the secrets of Lviv and you too can decide if it is indeed the right place for you. ... read more
Lviv Opera House
Lviv Town Hall

Europe » Ukraine » Lviv September 3rd 2017

Z ubytka vymotanie sa az okolo obeda, vonku podmrakom a zimno. Nechavam si na sebe aj tielko, v ktorom spavam. Stretko s cs mam naplanovane pred operou, tu je kopa ludi. Vsade samy bezec, najskor startuju male deti a neskor po nich sa pridavaju aj dospely. Prichadza CS, ups naskytuje sa malicky problem, pisala,ze nehovori moc dobre anglicky. Ok, sak ja tez ne moc, lenze ona fakt nehovori anglicky. No nevadi, spusta na mna ukrajincinu, napodiv dost toho rozumiem (a co nie,domyslim si) a nastastie aj ona rozumie mne. CS brigadoval na vychode slovenska v kuchyni. Majitelia a resp aj ostatny zamestnanci sa k gastarbeiterom spravali ako handram. Tour de Lvov zaciname na kuracom croasante v prevadzke Lviv Croissants . Samozejme kapucino nesmie chybat. Croasant uplne bombovy. Vcera som bol tiez v tejto prevadzke ale na ... read more

Europe » Ukraine » Lviv September 2nd 2017

Postel zbalena okolo 8/00, navlecky odnesene dopredu. Na ranajky do seba tlacim keksiky. Cez noc sa tu par ludi uz obmenilo ale opat ziadne vodka party neboli. Tak cul ozaj nevim ci som mal na to len stastie alebo je to len mytus. Lvov ma privital zatiahnutou oblohou, s tym,ze sa to moze kazdu chvilu spustit. Na stanici ma vyzdvihuje couchsurferka. Hned padame do jej oblubeneho podniku Celentano blizko stanici. Pyta sa ma ci som mal red soup. Tak reku ne, no ked mi to donisli bol to borsc. Uz aspon vim jak to nazyvaju po anglicky :) Polievka zaliata kavou, zaujimava kombinacia ale uslo to. S plnym bruchom zacata prehliadka lvova, ktory mi kyjevcanky vychvalili ale ma aj varovali, ze je to mega turisticke mesto. Postupne sme navstivili Church of Sts. Olha and Elizabeth, katedralu ... read more

Europe » Ukraine » Lviv February 9th 2017

As with any lower profile nation of this world, you might readily assume that the nation's capital city is the final word in the cultural statement of the country in question, and in the case of the Ukraine, I was in search of evidence to prove this statement of fact wrong. So, after a fulfilling stint on the ski slopes in Bukovel, the next port of call was the compact city of Ivano Frankivsk, which is only about two hours (maximum) bus journey from the ski resort. The city being the size it is, hotel location is not really of paramount importance but given the reasonable hotel prices, it is probably wise to look for a centrally-located hotel, and in this case it happened to be the hotel Franz, a tidy-looking property at a bargain basement ... read more
Concert hall (Bukovel; Ukraine)
The circus (Bukovel; Ukraine)
Cathedral (Bukovel; Ukraine)

Europe » Ukraine » Lviv September 30th 2016

Being a relatively big city almost right on the border with Poland and thus the EU, Lviv is supposed to be Ukraine's most "European" city and I've have heard nothing but rave reviews about it; therefore I was excited to find out for myself, what all the fuss was about. At the second time of asking, I actually caught my train there. And it was a really nice train. Like, really nice. I had company this time too, in Americans Ben and Kerry which was also nice, nicer still after we decided to walk to the hostel despite the freezing cold at 11pm, thanks to taxi drivers trying to rip us off. My inauspicious start in this city continued when I got to my hostel. I was sharing a dorm with an old, bald Ukrainian man ... read more
Rynok Square By Night
Rural Wooden Church
Polish War Graves

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