Ukraine Travelogue -
Kyiv to Lviv
New York to Kyiv, Kyiv to Lviv
We had all been separated by now into family groups, so Mom, Len and I headed out to Terminal A which is where our Lviv flight would leave from in a few hours. You had to go outside, across broken roads and cobblestones and the like to get to the other terminal.
It was very hot in there, relatively small and they wouldn't board the Lviv plane (or take baggage) until an hour beforehand, at 3:30. So we had about 1.5 hrs to spend. There was a lovely outdoor cafe here but the seats were all full and even though we were waiting, the moment a table would free up someone else would run in front of us and take it. The ATM and bathroom were both out of order here. So finally we went back to the main terminal (Terminal B) to the food court and met up with the others. They had free wireless!! So I was able to mail to Bob and let him know I was OK. There were international foods at the little counter like pizza etc. but I had a few pirogies and water.
It was 3:15. We once again lugged our luggage to Terminal A - and it still wasn't ready for us :) We got a table in the little cafe and sat there for 20 minutes without anyone coming to help us, so we gave up and went back in. Now they were ready. We got in the long line, checked in (assigned random seats) and went into the long security check line. This dumped out in a tent where we waited for a bus.
The bus eventually came at 4:30 (boarding time) to take us to our plane. My birding exploits began here - there was a little grey bird here with fast moving feet. The engines were running so it was VERY loud as we went up steep ramp stairs into the plane's tail. I was in a "D" seat which I thought would be an aisle, but a couple in D & E told me to go in to F. I like windows :) Unfortunately these were extremely scratched up so I couldn't take pictures through them. Interesting that in Ukraine they would still label seats ABC DEF. I put on the sound-cancelling headphones and promptly fell asleep, tho I woke up for the 5pm takeoff.
An hour or so later we arrived in Lviv! They didn't clap this time :) Another enthusiastic rush to deplane; we walked to the tiny terminal and all stood in the one hall area.
Eventually they brought over, on the tarmac, 3 large metal carts with everybody's luggage and there was a free-for-all with people grabbing their bags. We got ours off and walked out the main doors - into the lovely sunshine. There were flowers, busses, billboards, and a young woman waiting to meet us. She walked us all over to a minivan where we climbed in. The AC wasn't quite working properly so it was quite warm. We had an interesting drive through the streets of Lviv - lots of concrete apartment buildings and "Western Wear" people with a few elderly woman with shawls on their heads. Lots of billboards.
Eventually we got into the main town to our hotel to check in, right in with the other big town buildings.
In the lobby a woman in her 50s came up to me and asked if I was American. Nervous, I said yes. She then said "Anhya" which I didn't recognize so I looked around for help. My mom came over and it turned out this was her cousin, named Anna! Her father was a brother to Mom's mother, Eva (i.e. my grandmother / Baba). Anna had only gotten our letter yesterday and made plans immediately to come out and visit us. She'd taken the bus all day to get into Lviv and would stay overnight with her daughter, Lesha (32) who lived in town.
We were exhausted but of course we couldn't let her down! We went upstairs, got freshened up quickly and came down to have dinner with her in the hotel's restaurant.
Part 3 - Dinner and Relative News
JFK - Kyiv - Lviv Slideshow - 40 Photos
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