Ukraine Travelogue -
Friday August 18, 2006
Ivano-Frankivsk and Gutsulchyna Restaurant
This is the long version of the travelogue. There is also a Short Version and a Slideshow of Ivano-Frankivsk Photos with 119 images for this day.
Kris and I went down for breakfast about 8, passing my cousin Anna who was waiting in the lobby. I can't speak Ukrainian so I felt badly that I couldn't sit and talk with her, but she seemed to understand that I was going to eat. Kris had them make her scrambled eggs, while I enjoyed the fruit from the buffet.
Soon we had checked out and were packing the bags onto the mini-van. It was very cramped; somehow the mini-van people didn't know that we'd have luggage with us! Also the mini-van had no air conditioning which was going to make for a long, hot ride out to the Carpathian mountains. They tried to open a vent in the roof with little success. The guys were drenched in sweat in about 15 minutes.
Anna even came onto the mini-van to say goodbye, she was so sad to see us go. Then we were off! The bus driver stopped for directions, and soon we were on our way out of the city. It was a VERY very long ride out to Yaremche - it was 250km, or 4 1/2 hrs total. We in fact went past our hotel (the hotel Nadiya) on the way to get to Yaremche.
We saw a lot of pretty churches and little villages along the way. A *ton* of people were out walking, apparently to church to have their vegetables blessed. Entire villages were out walking around, apparently very few people have cars. There was some discussion about what we saw, but mostly the trip was passed in silence.
It was very unusual - we passed a TON of half finished houses. Apparently a lot of people had begun to build houses, and then decided never to return here, and just abandoned their homes. It's like all the empty homes in the villages back in Lviv.
We didn't quite understand Halyia's explanation, so asked her for clarification. What she said is this.
People worked out of the country - such as Anna did in Italy - and brought back a lot of money and began to build big homes. Then the regime changed and they were not able to leave again. Thus, a stop to the building.
Anna said something similar. She had been able to work in Italy for five years - without papers, documents. Now, if she wanted to go again she'd need the proper papers. That's why I think she is looking to get some work in Poland.
We did stop for a bathroom break at a gas station about half way there. People were very hot and tired by the time we got to Yaremche, the tourist town, at 1:30pm.
Yaremche and Gutsulchyna Restaurant
Slideshow of Ivano-Frankivsk Photos - 119 images
Videos from Birthday Party
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