Ukraine
Ukraine

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  • Sep11

    Die Perle am Schwarzen Meer

    September 11 in Ukraine ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Erstmal good news: Bin gestern seetauglich geschrieben worden, von einer russischen Ärztin, die dazu nicht mal das Stethoskop in die Hand genommen hat (wohl aber meine Kreditkarte, 80 Dollar für den Stempel).

    Nach vier Monaten gen Osten bin ich damit wohl endgültig in den Fängen der Korruption gelandet... Anstelle von Untersuchungen haben wir uns über die Transsib unterhalten - sie bekam ganz dunkle Funkelaugen voller Kindheitserinnerungen.

    Odessa ist vielfältig, ich habe einen ganzen Flickenteppich an Eindrücken. Für den gepflegten Städteurlaub und romantisches Bummeln durch Altstadtgassen würde ich Freunden eher Lemberg ans Herz legen. Wer aber unerschrocken ein bisschen mehr Ukraine wagen möchte: Ab nach Odessa!

    Mit Englisch kommt man hier kaum weiter (es gibt auch wenig Westtouristen). Ich gönne mir gerade zehn Stunden Russisch - eher Goodwill und Zeitvertreib. Kyrillisch hat nochmal eine ganz andere Schreibschrift als Druckschrift, und Vokabeln lernen ist auch schon lange her...
    Ich begreife fix, behalte nix. Wenigstens hat mein Gehirn inzwischen nachgegeben, was die Druckbuchstaben betrifft, und dafür etwas Platz freigeräumt.

    In die Oper kann man in Odessa ab 1,80 Euro. Ich habe mir ganz dekadent ein Fünf-Euro-Ticket für Donnerstag gegönnt, mittlere Preisklasse, Aida. Es gibt einen offiziellen Dresscode, kein Einlass mit pinken Sneakers, also nochmal acht Euro obendauf für ukrainische Ausgehschuhe vom Markt. Hoffentlich lohnend investiert, bin da ja ein bisschen banausig und habe um die drei Stunden rum oft eine Schmerzgrenze...

    Am Strand Riesenkirmes: Clubs, Lounges, Beach Bars, gigantische Hotelpaläste. Kilometer um Kilometer. Russischer Rubel rollt, denke ich. Jetzt ist Nachsaison, aber um sich das im August vorzustellen, braucht es kaum Phantasie. Weiter weg vom Zentrum beginnt der Beton dann etwas mehr zu bröckeln, und es wird gemütlicher. Baden allerdings nur für Seetangfetischisten.

    Mein Schiff läuft planmäßig am 25. morgens um sieben ein und liegt dann erstmal für 48 Stunden hier. Es ist die CMA CGM Ural. Ankunft in Port Kelang geplant für den 18.10. - Denke aber, ich melde mich vorm Ablegen nochmal!

    Soweit der Bericht aus Odessa von der künftigen Leichtmatrosin.
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  • Sep14

    Ein kleines post scriptum...

    September 14 in Ukraine ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    ... zum vorigen Eintrag:

    Ja, die Investition in ‚Aida-Schuhe‘ hat sich gelohnt. Wunderbare Location, und ein entflammtes Publikum. Da wird ‚Bravo, Aida!‘ auch schon mal mitten in die Arie gerufen, wenn die Seele sich in dem Moment Luft verschaffen muss. Am Ende körbeweise Blumen für Aida (die locker zehn Jahre älter war als ihr Vater, der König).

    Habe ergoogelt, dass das Werk zumindest indirekt dadurch entstanden ist, dass Verdi die Eröffnungshymne zur Einweihung des Suez-Kanals schreiben sollte... auch in diesem Sinne eine passende Ouvertüre für meinen nächsten Reiseabschnitt.
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  • Sep26

    Andere gehen ins Kloster...

    September 26 in Ukraine ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    Morgen früh legen wir ab - bis dahin werden hier vor meiner Luke unentwegt Container geladen, und dennoch wird nur ein Bruchteil dessen bewegt, was der Kahn so über die Meere schippert.

    Das Einschiffen war beeindruckend. Der Frachter ist einfach riesengroß, 300 Meter lang. Alle anderen Schiffe im Hafen sind gegen uns Paddelboote.

    Und spannend: Meine Reiseagentur hatte die Sache mit dem Fahrrad offenbar nur so halb geklärt - schon, dass es mit an Bord kann, nicht aber, dass es auch übers Sperrgelände bis zum Schiff darf. Zum Glück gabs einen wirklich netten Hafenagenten vor Ort, der eine Sondererlaubnis eingeholt hat, was zwei Tage brauchte... Alles sehr streng im Port, inklusive mürrischem Grummeln, Anweisungen im Befehlston (‚Passport!‘ - ‚open bags!‘), minutenlangem Geblätter im Reisepass unter Abgleich jedes einzelnen Stempels, bei umgehängter Schwerstbewaffnung und skeptischen Blicken. Die Sonderwünsche von so einer dahergefahrenen Touristin scheren erstmal keinen, ist ja kein Kreuzfahrt-Terminal.

    Hier auf der Ural hingegen alle sehr freundlich. Ein Seemann hat mein Rad hochgeschleppt, niemals hätte ich das alleine an Bord gekriegt. Die Crew ist zum größten Teil chinesisch, und ein paar Boys aus Sri Lanka in der Küche und fürs Grobe. Bordsprache Englisch. 25 Mann Besatzung und eine struppelblonde Deutsche schwer definierbaren Alters, die alle um mindestens einen Kopf überragt. Gäbe ein super Gruppenfoto. Für den Suez-Kanal wird nochmal eine Extra-Crew an Bord kommen.

    Ich wurde im Schweinsgalopp eingewiesen, kann jetzt einen Life-Suit ordnungsgemäß überstülpen, weiss den Zugangscode zur Brücke und schnalle mich im Rettungsboot Portside auf Platz Nummer 7 fest, im Fall des Falles. Es gibt einen Fitnessraum, und eine Sauna, die wohl noch nie jemand benutzt hat (glaube auch nicht, dass ich sie einweihen werde, will ja keinen der Jungs erschrecken). 10 Decks, und dann noch die Maschinenräume tief im Bauch des Kolosses.

    Lächeln und zurückhaltende Höflichkeit, das wird wohl die Kommunikation für die nächsten drei Wochen bleiben. Die Kabine ist zweckmäßig - und den kleinen Passagieraufenthaltsraum habe ich ganz für mich alleine. Tatsächlich kein einziger Mitreisender... kein pensionierter Studienrat, der mir abends Schach beibringt, keine Traveller mit Reisegeschichten aus aller Welt... aber auch keiner, der über die chinesischen Tischsitten nörgelt oder einen immerschlau zutextet. Ob Glück oder Pech weiss ich also nicht. Ein französisches Ehepaar ist hier in der Ukraine von Bord gegangen, eine Frau hatte wohl Istanbul bis Malaysia gebucht, so mein diensthabender Offizier, sei aber nicht aufgetaucht.

    Nachdem ich mich zwischendurch (jetzt schon!) gefragt habe, ob die Zeit hier vom Gefühl her so eine Art selbstbezahlter Knastaufenthalt werden könnte, habe ich beschlossen, es möglichst konsequent zum gedanklichen Runterkommen zu nutzen. Hartes Detox. Einen Tagesplan, und einfach nichts entscheiden (müssen) für eine Weile. Keine Nachrichten. FB etc. ertrag ich gerade eh nicht, was geht nur ab, wir spalten uns bröselig... Um sieben, zwölf und achtzehn Uhr Essen, was vorgesetzt wird, Zeiten für Yoga, Sport, Lesen, Schreiben, Schlafen. Manche gehen ne Zeit lang ins Kloster, ich schippere halt durch den Suez-Kanal, fernab von allem... mal sehen, wie das wird. Irgendeinen Sinn wird’s haben, über das Ankommen in Port Klang hinaus.

    Wir sehen uns in Kuala Lumpur!
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  • Day6

    Heroiam Slava Performed in Ukraine

    August 2 in Ukraine ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Where to begin?? Our performance in Kropyvnytskyi was absolutely phenomenal.

    We arrived at the theatre around 2:30 pm and got our dressing rooms set up. The theatre was really beautiful and the change room were spacious. Our Cobblestone guides brought our lunch to the theatre - amazing how they can arrange a pretty excellent lunch in to go containers - we had vegetables, shishlyk and cherry perogies. Our technical rehearsal was quite efficient, mostly practicing transitions between dancing and choir. During this time we also set up our quick changes and did our makeup for the most part. We also got to hear the soloist for the song at the end of the storyline which was stunning... even just hearing her sing a few phrases made me emotional.

    Pretty quickly it was time for group warm up and getting ready for the stage. We were both more nervous than we typically are before a show. The audience was amazing... they really made us feel like they were enjoying the show. There was one point during Kokhannia the audience was clapping with the music at a point we wouldn’t have expected it! Definitely gave me extra energy! Everything really went quite well ... I made one strange mistake with my arms which is frustrating, but I hope that won’t happen again.

    After hopak, the applause, standing ovation, and ‘bravos’ felt amazing!!! We took some photos after the show with the theatre seats behind us! Seems like the feedback Shane was getting after the show has been very positive. The man in the sound/light room was the director of the theatre and he also danced with Virsky for decades. He told Shane that he was inspired by the show and rarely sees such passion in dancers.

    Next it was time for a quick stop at the hotel to air out our costumes. Tyler and I took everything apart and draped costumes literally all over our hotel room (especially the lamps). It worked! In the morning everything felt quite dry.

    It was back to the bus to go to the post-show Zabava. We were very hungry and arrived to see the tables covered with appetizers. Before we went in, we had to do a welcome shot (plain vodka, not the cherry kind from Kyiv). There were approximately 10 different appetizers including salads, eggplant with tomato sauce, fruit, cheese, meats and fish. There was a stuffed fish dish they handed out individually that I found I just couldn’t eat given the texture. This honestly would have been enough food. But then there were many other dishes they brought out (cabbage rolls, meat balls, ribs, and nalysnyky). I really just needed something to eat but then once I was nourished I was pretty near ready to fall asleep at the table.

    The hosts were playing a few zabava games - with ribbons and a perogy making contest. The perogies that were made were the ones that we ate. They had made a few “happy perogies” that were full of salt. It was said that whoever got that perogy would have good luck for a year. Tyler bit into his perogy and immediately was overwhelmed by salt. He won some candy because he got that perogy.

    A few other dancers were exhausted like me and we decided to leave a bit early. We left at 12:15. The car back to the hotel was 40 hryvni (so with four dancers it was 10 each... about 50 cents each). Tyler seems to function better than me with no quiet time... but I really needed a bit of down time. I organized some of my packing for the morning. I don’t think I had been in bed very long before Tyler made it back home but it sure was worth it!

    Tomorrow we have a workshop and then a long bus ride to Vinnitsya!

    Brooke
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  • Day4

    Kyiv Sightseeing

    July 31 in Ukraine ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Today is our main day for exploring Kyiv before we move on to our next destination. We had a slightly later start, breakfast at our hotel and then back to the bus for a city tour.

    Our tour guide Tanya, was a native of Kyiv and she was a really interesting and an informative guide. Fun fact: Kyiv was founded by three brothers, the oldest of which was named Kyi. This is where the city name Kyiv came from (Kyiv is the correct spelling, Kiev is the Russian version).

    Our tour was a series of short bus rides and stops at the main sights of Kyiv. The first was St. Volodymyr Cathedral (yellow church). This a church in the Byzantine style and is still an active church. We bought a candle to leave at one of the altars. In the process of buying it, I tried unknowingly to pay with a 0.10 hryvna coin (worth about half a penny). The lady of course shook her head and then I figured out how much that coin was actually worth and paid the 3 hryvni price (worth about 15 cents).

    The next stop was the golden gates which was the main entrance when Kyiv was a walled city. Here we learned a bit about Prince Yaroslav, who was instrumental in the history of Kyiv and built the oldest temple here which was started in 1011 AD. Apparently he lived to be 76 which was quite a feat in the 11th century. Our guide explained that the locals here joke that his statue is called “the man with a cake.” (see photo)

    Our next stop was St. Sophia. This is the oldest original church in Kyiv. We spent quite a lot of time in the main church. The exterior is now white with blue domes (in a Baroque style) but the original was with stone masonry. They have now uncovered parts of the walls to show the original stone. The interior mosaics were very interesting. Tanya was explaining that the frescoes on the walls were hidden with plaster and forgotten for 300 years, and were rediscovered by accident and then restored.

    Then within the church we got to see an artistic mosaic comprised of 1500 Easter eggs called “Looking into Eternity.”

    Another fun fact: the word hryvna comes from the Ukrainian word for the mane of a horse. Apparently this is because when the money was named, one single silver piece was enough to buy a horse.

    Next we walked to St. Andrew, the stunning church at the top of the hill. It has gorgeous deep blue/teal domes and the colors are just stunning! It is named after St. Andrew because in the 1st century he predicted that a large city would be built on that spot (where there wasn’t a settlement at that time). We were given about 20 minutes to walk around Andriyvski Uzviz, where there are many vendors set up along the road down the hill. Decided not to get anything here as we think there will be more interesting and unique options in Lviv.

    The next stop was the outside of St. Michael. This church was destroyed when Kyiv was under the USSR regime but has since been rebuilt. This site is also very important in regard to the revolution at Maidan in 2013-2014 as it was a refuge for people seeking safety. There is a memorial to the hundred heroes as well as a long wall with the soldiers lost in the ongoing war on the East side of Ukraine.

    Here we saw a monument of Cyril and Methodius, the brothers that created the Cyrillic alphabet (hence the name of the alphabet). Right beside this area, there is also a mural of Nigoyan, one of the first victims in Kyiv at Maidan in 2013/2014.

    Next stop, lunch! We walked through Maryinski Park to the restaurant. Another lovely four course meal (salad, soup, chicken shashlyky and potatoes, followed by crepes filled with apple). As with all of our meals, it was fresh, properly cooked, and very flavourful.

    The next group plan was to go back to the market streets at Andriyvski Uzviz. This would have meant walking around shopping at the vendors which we didn’t really need to do. Deciding to skip the group plan was not a difficult decision, especially since it’s our last day in Kyiv and we haven’t been to Maidan yet. So we headed off with a few other dancers that chose to forgo the street vendors. We walked in the direction of Maidan and decided to drop the boys off for a beer so that the girls could go shopping.

    Christine, Christina and I wanted to go to Всі. Свої, a very unique Ukrainian store that has only high quality products that were made in Ukraine ... Lovely selection of ceramics, furniture, and home decor. As we were shopping, we were talking about how we would have liked to buy some very impractical things to travel with - such as throw pillows, large soft blankets, or maybe a piece of furniture. We did spend quite a lot of time in there and turns out the boys were joking about us taking so long because we were buying a couch. We might have bought something like that if it would be possible to transport home! I landed on a couple notebooks with pretty patterns on them. A very inexpensive shopping trip given how much looking around we did.

    We eventually made it to Maidan, the main central square. In 2013/2014, peaceful protesters started to speak/collect due to the president declining to sign the agreement for Ukraine to join the EU. The president ordered the police to beat the protesters and for months there were barricades built right in the middle of this modern city square. Around the tall obelisk in the square, they have developed a memorial of what happened. A lot of the information posted highlighted the influence of social media in the events that occurred there. Approximately 100 people died during the conflict, many of whom were civilians involved only in peaceful protest. Tyler and I would recommend watching the documentary “Winter on Fire” to learn more about the events.

    Having been in Kyiv at this very place mere months before this began with Cheremosh in June 2013, I was really amazed at how much it has already been restored. If I didn’t know about the conflict, I wouldn’t have known anything had really changed this gorgeous square.

    We walked a couple blocks to find a non-touristy restaurant for dinner. Highlights were a yummy tomato, goat cheese and watermelon salad and Tyler had a cool dessert - strawberry soup. This was a vanilla panacotta served with a straw berry sauce/soup. I then headed to the hotel to exchange money with Shane and Tyler went with the others to see the deepest metro station in Europe (the escalator down does look very impressive).

    Another very full day! Tomorrow is one of our long bus travel days so it’s off to bed here!!

    Brooke

    PS Apologies for the errors in the original post... I was half asleep when I posted last night and missed some interesting autocorrects.
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  • Day10

    Hutsul Vesilia

    August 6 in Ukraine ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    When we arrived at the location in Bukovets (the events took place at the school of their village) we were greeted by an entire Ukrainian Hutsul family. They welcomed us and sang for us with a live band. Everyone was dressed in gorgeous beaded blouses and zapaska (hutsul panelled skirts). They also had beaded necklaces on and some of them used toonies as medallions! The welcome shot was a homemade spirit with a ‘golden root’ in it. After the shot, they passed out pampoushky and bread with salo and pickles spread on it. A tasty snack and we were already quite hungry as it was about 2 pm.

    Then it was time to select the bride and groom. The hospodar and hospodyna Slavko and Svetlana decided to select people that were dressed similarly. They chose Nathan and Audrey who were wearing similar shirts that they bought at the market today. Maybe it’s a sign?? Jordan and Christine became their wedding party and they also selected parents for the couple as well. The hutsul babas proceeded with the ritual of dressing the bride and braiding her hair. They braided her hair together with yarn and coins (they had a string with coins attached that they weaved in as they braided. Then they twisted the braids around her head and attached a beautiful headdress. Probably best to look at the pictures to understand what it looked like.

    The next tradition was to decorate a fir tree. The tree symbolizes the new family/life that is starting with the marriage and all of the wedding guests help decorate it. Today we decorated the tree with flowers made with streamers but traditionally they would also hang honey (for sweetness) and money (for wealth) on the tree.

    We headed outside for the procession to the church. The bride and groom go on horseback and the guests walk behind. It was a tiny bit rainy but luckily just lightly spitting. There was a priest ready for the service in the church. He did a short service chanted in Ukrainian. Then we kissed the icons and received morovynya (anointing with oil). After leaving the church the bride and groom tore apart a korovai and shared it with all the guests. When they tear the bread it is like a wishbone, the bigger piece is good luck. Nathan’s half was the bigger part. We took a group photo and then the priest blessed us with holy water. He had a huge amount of water, the container basically the size of a big soup pot. His tool for blessing people with water was the largest we have seen and he was able to absolutely soak some people. He even noticed a few people trying to hide from the water at the back ... I think he managed to bless everyone!

    There are too many nice photos for one post so I’m going to continue this in another post.

    Brooke
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  • Day10

    Mountain Getaway / Yaremcha Market

    August 6 in Ukraine ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Today we are enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Carpathian Mountains. The hotel really does feel quite luxurious and I woke up feeling fairly rested, even though it was again a night with just shy of six hours of sleep.

    We showered and had breakfast at the hotel. Pretty typical European breakfast, nothing out of the ordinary. The morning plan was to shop at the Yaremcha market. The schedule had just two hours devoted to this which we knew from the start would not be quite enough.

    The market has so many shops with blouses, dresses, and many other Ukrainian trinkets. At first everything looked the same just because of the sheer volume. Compared to at home though there are really so many options and it was hard to decide which store to go into and start looking at seriously. Eventually we landed on a store in the middle of one of the main rows. Tyler found a shirt for himself first, a linen one with blue and grey embroidery that is quite fine and definitely hand embroidered. As he was getting close to his decision, I also found a really pretty burgundy blouse with short sleeves. We are both happy with those purchases!

    I made a somewhat impulse decision at another shop to get a T-shirt with embroidered flowers on the front. But it was very inexpensive and I’m sure I’ll wear it plenty.

    Tyler and I wandered a bit more. It was somewhat on my mind to get a dress but it was difficult to decide where to stop to look. They often would just have one size of a certain item, so if you liked the pattern but it was too big or too small then you’re out of luck on that one. After a few near purchases that I ended up deciding against because I just wasn’t in love, I found a blue dress with white embroidery that I really liked. Then it was basically time to go to the bus. But on the way we stopped at one more place. Tyler found a second shirt, one that is a beige linen with blue and golden yellow embroidery. I really like that one too. I tried on a stunning shirt in the same shop, without knowing the price in advance. Turns out it was 12000 hryvni, which is about 600 CAD. Trust me to find one of the most expensive blouses in the market. It was stunning though. I decided that was a bit too much to justify and my other items are also great but at much more reasonable prices.

    I think both Tyler and I were starting to feel comfortable shopping at the market right as we had to rush to the bus. We are going to a Hutsul wedding lunch today. Bus call was 11:30 am. We were a few minutes later than that as were many of the others. Both of us quickly donned our new purchases and are feeling quite well dressed for a Hutsul wedding!

    Now the bus is taking us about a two hour journey for a Hutsul wedding and lunch. The Ukrainian music is blasting, the girls are braiding each other’s hair in much more interesting and fun ways than we get to for dance and we are singing along to the music!

    I’ll post again after the wedding!!

    Brooke
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  • Day5

    Taras Shevchenko Memorial

    August 1 in Ukraine ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    The main stop on the bus ride today was an excursion to the Taras Shevchenko Memorial near Kaniv. Taras Shevchenko was a famous Ukrainian poet / artist from the 1800s. We were taken on a short tour of the museum and then got to see the memorial site / grave.

    The next bit is a description of what we learned during the tour, mostly so we can look back and recall what we were told. I apologize if I state anything historically / factually incorrect.

    Taras Shevchenko was born in 1814 in Ukraine. At a very young age he learned to read, which was a rare occurence in that time. He began to make extra money by doing drawings and started to get noticed. Eventually he was taken to an actual school where he further developed his artistic and literary skills.

    Throughout his life he made over 1200 artistic works. He was often wanting to earn more money to buy his brothers and sisters from serfdom. Eventually he was commissioned to examine national monuments in Ukraine and develop paintings of them.

    In 1847 Taras was arrested for being part of a secret political society. He was exiled to Kazhakstan to become a soldier there and was forbidden to write and draw (his pockets were even searched for pencil and paper). However he still was finding ways to write secretly for 3 years, but was eventually found out and arrested this time as a prisoner for 7 years. They thought he would die before the sentence was up.

    While in Kazhakstan the authorities needed someone to draw maps for them and chose Shevchenko. Apparently he made over 700 pictures of Kazakhstan. One interesting point was that while he was exiled he was still able to create paintings with no supplies by using squid ink and a needle. The museum had some of these paintings on display.

    After 10 years of exile, Taras Shevchenko was liberated and eventually came back to Ukraine. When he returned, he wanted to build a dream house. People recognized him as a poet / painter, but where he wanted to build was protested against because he didn't come from upper class. He was taken into custody again for this controversy and taken to Kiev. They decided to let him go but was heavily suggested to go back to St. Petersburg. While there he published a book with his own money and it was the first book published in Ukrainian, which was of course forbidden.

    Taras Shevchenko died in St. Petersburg shortly after his 47th birthday in 1861. The main reason of his death was heart attack, but it also due to the process used to make etchings (type of ink was harmful for the lungs).

    He was initially buried in St. Petersburg. But his friends remembered his last will and testament to be buried in Ukraine. There was a petition to move his body to Ukraine. Eventually his body was transported by horse and cart (10 day trip) to Kaniv, which is the location where he wanted to build his house.

    Initially his grave wasnt allowed to be very fancy. After some years, one local man found out and started to spread word, people donated money, and authorities gave permission to make a better grave. The museum dedicated to him was eventually built at his grave site and it was initially opened in 1939.

    The end of the tour involved more of the memorial pieces that have been done in his name. There was a wall of books of all of the different languages that his works have been published in. And then the coolest piece was a tapestry sized picture of him that was actually fully embroidered!

    We finished off the tour by getting some pictures in front if the main memorial statue that has been built over top of his grave site. Then it was back on the bus to carry on with the day.

    Tyler
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  • Day11

    Pysanka Museum

    August 7 in Ukraine ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    This morning we actually got to sleep in, all the way to 7:45am! Got almost 8 hours of sleep, but also starting to feel a bit throat sick, hopefully it doesn't turn into too much more. Our bus call was at 10:00 AM and Brooke had been talking about trying to go to the market once more since it is really close by. She ended up going quickly with a couple of girls and was successful in finding something small.

    We then loaded up the bus and departed for Kolomeya, this time it was just over an hour away. The name Kolomeya comes from the words circle/wheel and washing, so washing the wheels in the river. It was said that the salt merchants would wash the wheels of their carriages in this town and that is why it has this name. In Kolomeya we visited two separate museums; the Pysanky Museum and the Hutsulschyna Museum.

    Our first stop was at the Pysanky Museum. It was the only one in the whole world and was founded in 1988, but the actual building location was made in 2000. The outside of the museum has a massive pysanka built into the building. The guide told us that it measures 14m high by 10m diameter and that it is the largest pysanka in the whole world, but I beg to differ. Christine later downloaded an egg volume calculator and determined that the Vegreville pysanka is larger by 461 m³. Point Alberta!

    We were first given an explanation on how pysanky are written, but I think we are fairly knowledgeable on that front. They also have a special way of preserving the eggs by cracking it open along the middle to fully remove the yolk, then they line it with some sort of paper and then carefully put it back together. Not really sure why they don't blow them out, but there must be a good reason for it.

    The museum has over 12,000 pysynkas in it. One of the most interesting pieces was the oldest pysanka in Ukraine at 500 years old. It was excavated recently in Lviv.

    They had a section of pysanky that were all done with natural colors instead of egg dyes. Examples would be tree bark for brown, beet root for red/purple, and onion peel for orange.

    There was one wall of pysanky that were all done with a pinning technique. This involves making a drop of wax on the egg and then spreading it in one direction with a pin. Then it is dipped in a single color of wax. Very cool technique, Brooke said she might try it one day.

    Finally, they had a section with pysanky from all over the world that were provided to the museum by the ukrainian diaspora. Interesting ones were eggs from Australia with kangaroos on them and a replica of the Vegreville pysanka.

    There were also Canadian coins in the shape of an egg (worth $20). There are only 5,000 in the world and of course Brooke immediately wants one (says she wants one for her birthday........how am I supposed to make that happen?).

    At the end of the tour Brooke bought a book on the history of pysanky origins and pictures of pysanky from the various regions of Ukraine. She was quite thrilled.

    Then it was off to see the Hutsulshyna museum (which will be in a second post).
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  • Day9

    Chernivtsi, Saskatoon's Sister City

    August 5 in Ukraine ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    After checking in at Hotel Bukovyna, we hopped on the bus to go to the centre of the city for a walking tour. Our guide was very informative. The main take away points were that Chernivtsi is quite an old city (>600 years old) and that there was a lot of Austrian influence in this city. There are quite a few beautiful buildings. We learned that Mila Kunis was born here. By the end of the tour I think we were all just tired and hungry.

    Dinner was at the hotel restaurant - chicken with mixed vegetables and polenta. Then nalysnyky filled with apple for dessert.

    After that, we decided to go to the hotel pool. Ten people could be there at one time. The pool was a little chilly but was pretty fun to hang out. Tyler and the boys played with a tennis ball which turned into a game of volleyball. We dried up with the bed sheets that were laid out instead of towels.

    Now I’m finishing this blog post in the hotel lobby with a Zakarpatskyi Cognac. Tomorrow is our workshop with the Buko State Ensemble which was my favorite workshop in 2013 so I’m pretty pumped!!!

    Side note: the title of the post is a fact I learned the last time I was here. Chernivtsi is Saskatoon’s sister city! I’m hoping we’ll get to see the place it says that tomorrow!

    Brooke
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Ukraine, Oekraine, Ukren, ዩክሬን, Ucraína, Ucrægna, اوكرانيا, ܐܘܟܪܢܝܐ, Ucrania, Ukraina, Украіна, Украйна, Ukɛrɛni, ইউক্রেন, ཡུ་ཀྲན།, Ukrajina, Ucraïna, ᏳᎬᎳᎢᏅ, Ѹкраина, Украина, Wcráin, Ukraine nutome, Ουκρανία, Ukrajno, اوکراین, Ukereen, Ukreina, Ucrayena, Oekraïne, An Úcráin, યૂક્રેન, Yukaran, אוקראינה, उक्रेन, Ukrajna, Ուկրաինա, Ukrania, Ukrainia, Úkraína, Ucraina, ウクライナ共和国, უკრაინა, Ukraini, អ៊ុយក្រែន, ಉಕ್ರೈನ್, 우크라이나, ئۆکرانیا, Ukrayn, Yukurayine, Ikrɛni, ຢູເຄຼນ, Ukreni, Okraina, ഉക്രൈന്‍, यूक्रेन, ယူကရိန်း, Yukreini, युक्रेन, Ukraîne, Ucràina, Ukrainu, ୟୁକ୍ରାଇନ୍, اوکراين, Ucrânia, Ukranya, Ikerene, Ukrêni, යුක්රේනය, Ukrainë, Украјина, உக்ரைன், యుక్రెన్, ยูเครน, ʻIukuleini, Ukrayna, ئۇكرائىنا, Україна, یوکرائن, U-crai-na (Ukraine), Lukrayän, Oucrinne, אוקריינע, Orílẹ́ède Ukarini, 乌克兰, i-Ukraine

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