Ukraine Travelogue -
Ivano-Frankivsk and Gutsulchyna Restaurant

Yaremche and Gutsulchyna Restaurant

Unfortunately, even though it was about 1:30 by the time we arrived in Yaremche, our guide told us we'd have to wait ANOTHER hour before we could eat. This was a saddening surprise. We made our way across the little bridge to the marketplace.

Ivano-Frankivsk Ukraine Photo

Yaremche is in the middle of the Hutsul area, in the Carpathian mountains, so there were lots of wood carvings and wood maces for sale, as well as embroidery. However, nobody was really up for a lot of shopping. We were hungry and thirsty. The marketplace was just one long alley with little "huts" lining either side of it. This is a view from the very top of the marketplace area, and it ends just past the light colored roof down on the left.

Ivano-Frankivsk Ukraine Photo

After about 45 minutes we were told we could go into the Gutsulchyna Restaurant, and we headed in. This was a wood log building with a lot of wood carving inside it. It was going to serve us traditional Hutsul food. The restaurant bathroom doors were marked with up-triangles and down-triangles. Apparently the ones pointing up are for girls (i.e. their skirt) and the ones pointing down are for guys (i.e. their broad shoulders).

Ivano-Frankivsk Ukraine Photo

They served a warm "fruit punch" from pitchers - most of us felt the punch tasted burnt and was not tasty. We didn't get to choose from a menu - we were told "you will like it" even though some of us are diabetic and others need meat. While I generally enjoyed the entire trip immensely, I do have to note that this day was EXTREMELY poorly planned by the travel agents. The 4.5hrs on a non-air-conditioned bus was tough, then to not eat afterwards ... and then to be told "you'll eat the food" without even knowning what it was or if it could be eaten by people with dietary issues, was all a bit much. Still, we toughed it out to see what would happen next.

Ivano-Frankivsk Ukraine Photo

We got a plain soup, maybe chicken broth, with some noodles and mushrooms in it. There was nice, fresh bread, but no butter to go with it. Then came a meat stew that was thick with sour cream. For dessert there was a "banush" which was like corn farina with parmesan-like goat cheese. I love farina - and so does Nick apparently - so this was a treat for us two - although I hate parmesan so I had to avoid eating that.

Note that even though the meal was included, they had expected us to drink the burnt-tasting punch (never mind that the diabetic probably could NOT drink that due to the sugar in it!) and charged us extra when we all asked for bottled water. I was very lucky in general in that I liked pretty much everything. Others, who were starving, were less lucky and now had to tough it out until dinnertime.

In any case, afterwards some people did some more shopping in the market, while other of us like me (who didn't buy anything at all) rested by the gardens.

Returning to Nadia Hotel and Ivano-Frankivsk
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