Ukraine Travelogue -
This is the short version of the travelogue. There is also a Long Version and a Slideshow of Ivano-Frankivsk Photos with 238 images for this day.
Today began with a relaxing stroll around Ivano-Frankivsk which we'd already seen several times. Then we piled back onto the bus with all our luggage and drove out to a Monastery. We were told that this was a casual walk so many of us wore casual shoes. Luckily, I wore my sneakers. Little did I know what lay ahead ...
But first, a stop at a lovely tourist restaurant for lunch. The food was great, and the lodgings here were GORGEOUS. We really should have stayed here. They even had a tree house honeymoon suite!
Finally, on to the monastery. We had to talk across a rickety bridge. Then up a steep hill. Were we there yet? Nope, taking the left fork led us to a steeper hill and we finally saw a church. Were we there? No this was only the "base camp". Len said this was too much for him and gave up. On we went.
The trail become literally a hiking trail where you had to hold onto handholds, it got more and more steep. Finally it was a rain washed gully that was *incredibly* steep. Our guide kept saying "Oh it's just a little further" - and then switched to saying "You better hurry or we're going to miss our train". This was very poorly communicated to us from start to finish. Stephanie gave up on the trek. Finally those of us remaining made it up to the top of the mountain where there was a tiny cave, which is where the 2 monks had lived for many years. Along with the cave was a tiny spring of holy water.
Now we had to trek all the way back down again, get a super-fast 5 minute history lecture from the priest and then get to the bus. Then the bus zoomed us back to the train station.
We got supplies at the shop by the train station which was OK but not *nearly* as nice as the great shop at the hotel (which was only a few blocks away). We lugged our luggage through the train station, across the tracks and down the entire length of the platform (about 30 cars worth) to get to our car. The person in control of our car - a matronly woman - was very upset with us for booking entire rooms of 4 beds for only 2 people each. She wanted her full 4 sheet rental for each room. Then it was a big job getting our luggage up INTO the train, and down the tiny hallways into our rooms. By this point we were all exhausted and worn down and hot.
Finally when the train began moving, things cooled down and it was very soothing, actually!! We all had gotten alcohol and meats and breads, and Peter and Vic hosted shots in their room with great food. Soon it was down to us 4 laughing, singing and having a blast. Despite several warnings by the adults, we had fun until about 3am at which point we fell soundly asleep.
First Day in Kiev
Slideshow of Ivano-Frankivsk Photos - 238 images
Videos from Ivano - Lviv Train
Ukraine Travelogue home page
Lisa Shea Homepage