Ukraine Travelogue -
This is the long version of the travelogue. There is also a Short Version and a Slideshow of Ivano-Frankivsk Photos with 238 images for this day.
This was our last morning at the Hotel Nadia. We woke up at 7:30, then 8. We were down for breakfast at 8:45 with the guys and then realized that we weren't actually due to begin until 9:30. We packed and got ready. We headed out for a walking tour of the area. We'd already seen much of it on previous outings, so the only thing that really sticks out in my mind is the mini-mall where the women all looked at the jewelry :)
We got back to the hotel and dragged our luggage to the elevator. And waited. And waited. The sole elevator was very slow - plus it went past us 3 different times too full for us to get in. We were worried about checking out in time so finally I ran down to do that. They did charge me for my phone call and the internet time but I didn't get a receipt. It cost 47H (about $10) for 1 short phone call to the US and 1 hr on the internet. Kris got down before I could go up to help her and we crammed everything into the back of the mini-van. Our trip today was to a monastery with holy springs, and then to the train.
We asked about coming back here to this deli since it had such amazing meats and especially the pastry area was gorgeous. We were told there was a shop near the station we could use. I grabbed a pair of pastries anyway for Kris and me, plus some water. Off we went.
The restaurant this time was a tourist-stop sort of place along the way, with a lot of woodwork. We got our traditional salad with cukes, tomatoes and red and yellow pepper. Then a very good cabbage soup with sour cream, and tiny chunks of carrot, and beef chunks. Then mushroom-laden potato pancakes. We all immediately asked for them with NO mushrooms. They were able to sort that out, and we were happy. The onions here were very strong. We noted that whenever you're served you should eat immediately, to get it fresh. Lovely traditional music was playing.
They had bringa - a creamy Hutsul goat cheese. Mom said that Baba only liked cow cheese, and thought that Dido was a "hillbilly" for loving this kind. The bread was apparently authentic UK bread. "Song of the Woods" was the name of this place.
Then we got a tour of the place - we should have stayed here!! The rooms were simply gorgeous. They even had a honeymoon suite tree house built around an actual tree.
Full of yummy potato pancakes, we headed out. It was a long, quiet drive out to the monastery, and then we reached the bridge leading into it. It was so rickety that the mini-van couldn't go over it. We walked across. There was a steep dirt road leading up the mountain.
The guide kept saying it was a short way, but then we hiked up a long path, and it forked. The adults cringed at the left fork, because it was steep, but that's the way we went. Finally we got to a gateway and a church, but no, this wasn't it, this was just the 'base camp'. Len called it quits here. We looked inside the church briefly and then headed up.
The path got even worse. There were slippery rocks, only handrails in a few areas, and the adults got slower and slower. The guide began to say we had to hurry or we'd miss our train, and soon Stephanie stopped as well. It was amazingly steep! Many people didn't have shoes for this sort of serious climb. I really think the tour guides could have done a much better job of laying out the actual distance and climbing difficulty before a day begins, so that people know what they're in for.
Finally we made it to the top where there was a tiny one-room one-person chapel and the 'cave'. It was just a rock ledge where water seeped out. This is where the 2 monks lived. It was certainly a lovely view from up here, and it was fun for those of us who made it, but again, wearing the proper footwear and knowing what was involved would really have helped everyone. Especially as we tried to descend the slick, steep slope. Amusingly, on our way down we passed a guy on a horse who was carrying a chainsaw with him.
I stayed with Nadia, Myron and Vic to help them get down and everyone was probably at the bus by the time we made it to the base camp area. A priest was there and he gave us a 5 minute speed history (in Ukrainian) of the area. When he was done, Nadia said it was pretty much word for word what our tour guide had told us on the way in. Then we hiked back out to the bus and climbed on.
We headed straight for the train station.
Ivano-Frankivsk to Lviv Train
Slideshow of Ivano-Frankivsk Photos - 238 images
Videos from Ivano - Lviv Train
Ukraine Travelogue home page
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