Ukraine
Lviv

Here you’ll find travel reports about Lviv. Discover travel destinations in Ukraine of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

19 travelers at this place:

  • Aug1

    Yes! Women are strong!

    August 1 in Ukraine ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Seitdem ich in der Ukraine bin, ist da noch viel mehr das Gefühl, dass mein Inneres sich ein wenig reckt und streckt, um über meine Mäuerchen drüberzugucken. Einfach mal machen, nicht so viel mit mir rumdiskutieren. Fühlt sich gut und frei an.

    Es ginge auch nicht anders, man ist hier nicht gerade auf ausgetretenen Pfaden des internationalen Tourismus unterwegs. Auch Polen oder Slowaken zieht’s kaum über die Grenze.

    Ausgenommen Lviv, wo ich noch übers Wochenende bleibe - die Stadt verdient ihren eigenen kleinen Beitrag, möchte nur meine Reise bis hierher und den Sonntag in der Ukraine nicht unterschlagen...

    Die langgezogenen Straßendörfer mit bröckelnden Fassaden und frischgeputzten Fenstern, die unzähligen Kirchen mit den Golddächern, die aussehen wie aus einer anderen Welt dort abgestellt. Die braunen Sonntagsanzüge und die Spitzenkopftücher, die am Glockenseil baumelnden Messdiener, die schnapsseeligen Männerversammlungen vor jedem ‚Magazin‘, das volle Programm eben, inklusive Hühnern, Ziegen und Pferdekutschen (selten, aber doch). Die Hunde waren bei der Hitze zu träge für Verfolgungsjagden.

    Die erstmal oft skeptischen Gesichter der Frauen auf den Bänken vor den Zäunen vor den Häusern. Ich glaube, hier wird es den Menschen langsam befremdlicher, dass ich allein unterwegs bin. Und überhaupt, ich auf meinem Rad, das mehr gekostet hat als ein ukrainisches Durchschnittsjahreseinkommen...

    Tipp zur Erheiterung des Auditoriums: Einfach mal so tun, als sei man getroffen und kippe vom Rad, wenn ein kleiner Plastikgewehr-Heckenschütze einen anvisiert. Da schmunzelt zumindest auch Opa auf der Bank. Erziehung zum Pazifismus steht in einem Land, das sich im Krieg befindet, wohl nicht zwangsläufig hoch im Kurs. Hier und da sind an den Ortseingängen große Banner mit Fotos der getöteten Soldaten aufgestellt. Keine verwitterten Tafeln mit den Namen von Weltkriegstoten, sondern die Pass- oder Armeefotos von Männern, die zum Teil noch in den Windeln lagen, als ich gerade Abi gemacht habe.

    Fast gegenüber jeder Bushaltestelle steht eine kleine Kapelle - und wenn man sich die Busse so anschaut, kann man auch das verstehen. Und die Straßen... bis ganz unvermutet, nach einer weiteren inländischen Passkontrolle (auf dem Pass, wie passend), wie von einer guten Fahrradfee hingezaubert eine aalglatte nagelneue Asphaltbahn begann, sich durch die Hügel Richtung Lviv zu schlängeln. Yeah!

    Bei all den Eindrücken wird mir klar, wie wenig ich bislang in meinem Leben gesehen habe von der Welt. Und man kann sich gar nicht davor verschließen, wie gut es uns geht.

    Die Szene des Tages am Sonntag jedoch war, als ich den Uschok-Pass angegangen bin, und mir entgegen kam ein junges Paar in einem schicken westlichen Kleinwagen (sonst waren noch viele alte Ladas in allen Farben des Tuschkastens unterwegs). Er, am Steuer, schüttelte ein wenig schmunzelnd den Kopf, von wegen wie verrückt muss man sein, um hier bei über 30 Grad im Schatten mit dem Rad hochzukurbeln. Da reckte sie die geballte Faust aus dem Beifahrerinnenfenster und rief mir zu ‚Yes! Women are strong!‘. Stimmt.
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  • Day15

    Emotions Starting To Get To Us

    August 11 in Ukraine ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    This morning we slept in til just after 8 AM. The schedule for the day involves a parade and then we will be bussed off to our second performance of the festival, so it was good to get some extra sleep. We had breakfast downstairs in the hotel with Emma and then back up to get ready. Again had to be dressed in full costume for this parade, so we were geared up in Hopak along with bringing everything else we needed for the day (separate costume and change of clothes). Luckily we could load up the bus with our extra stuff and then it was a short walk to the start of the parade.

    We congregated in front of the Opera House and then proceeded to wait, in the hot sun....in full costume. It is definitely an international dance festival because they have the hurry-up-and-wait part figured out. After about 20 minutes, they lined us into position and then the parade started shortly after. The parade was from the Lviv Opera House to the Taras Shevchenko monument which wasn't really that far, probably less than a km. Once there, all the groups lined up, there was a flower laying ceremony, and some sort of speech. We took a group picture at the end and it looked like it turned out well. Immediately after we loaded up onto the bus to head to Shevchenkivskyi Hai where we would be performing next.

    Shevchenkivskyi Hai is an outdoor old-style Ukrainian village type attraction. Think like the Ukrainian Village east of Edmonton. It is very spread out and rolling walking paths. What that meant is the bus could only go so far and then we had to schlep our costumes all the way in. Plus keep in mind we are still in Hopak costume with boots on. Plus plus - it rained overnight last night and the path in was still wet soil in spots. Wish we had known the length of the walk so we could change our footwear on the bus.

    We get to the stage and change area. The stage is covered and the audience seating is built in and permanent into the hill. Sort of like a mini-Dauphin stage. The change tents were right behind the stage and were a built up wooden floor. This was lucky because all around our tent was grass, which was also wet from the rain and muddy/squishy in some spots. Exactly what you want for dance costumes and boots.

    We changed out of costume and into street clothes so we could go eat lunch. Walked over to the outdoor area where we were going to eat and had to wait another 20 to 30 minutes for everything to get set up. Lots of people were starting to get to the point of crankiness, Brooke especially who was getting hangry about getting her boots a bit wet. Nathan and I being the positive people we tried to cheer everyone up with a song......I don't think it worked, mainly due to the fact that we got told to shut up for being too load.

    We had lunch in a fenced off part of the village. The food was a stew, cabbage salad, bread with salo, and fresh fruit. There was also limited space to eat as there were 4 cocktail tables in a small grassy area and some bench seating on the side. Nathan and I sat in a makeshift yurt (bench under a covered area). I actually really enjoyed lunch, it was quite tasty and the fresh apricots were a welcome addition.

    After lunch we changed back into Hopak, not to perform yet, but to walk further and do a photoshoot. This time we had the good sense to walk in our sandals and change footwear later. We initially lined up for one of the festival photographers who set us up in a very weird way. It didn't make sense what he was doing and apparently the pictures didn't work out at all. Immediately after we ditched that guy, stepped into the sunlight in a grassy area, and then we banged out a great photo with our actual photographer. Afterwards we walked even further to find a nice scenery to take a nice vignette photo with a great backdrop.

    It was then time to get prepared for this show. We were performing Hopak, Hutsul, and one Junior dance. I was legit concerned about having enough space to warm up due to the wet grassy area around us. Luckily the festival laid down some tarps so we could have access to the stage and then we realized that stage right had an actual full stone path. Perfect! Was able to properly warm up as best as can be expected.

    This performance is actually an "adjudicated" show to determine what gets into the gala performance tomorrow at the opera house. I'm not sure if it actually means that some groups won't get in, or more so it determines how many and which dances we perform. I made the joke of whether or not they would have a bell to ding before we go on. Our actual performance went very well, the energy on stage was really strong, and the reaction from the crowd was great. In true fashion, I was last out of the change room again and was just dripping with sweat.

    We then hauled everything back up the path to the bus. Some of the girls used up some coupons for carrying their stuff or a free ice cream, I think Jordan got the worst of it. Once we got on the bus Shane grabbed our attention and let us know that the feedback was very positive and they were very impressed with our performance and our technical skill. Shane then let us know that one Junior dance, Hutsul, and Hopak will be performed in the gala show tomorrow! We get to dance in the Lviv Opera House!

    Once we got back to the hotel we had to fully unload the bus as this was the last time we would see it. Bye bus, we had some good times! Next it was time to do an initial pack of all the costumes we didn't need anymore. We all met up on the 5th floor elevator lobby and then started sorting, rolling, and packing. It didn't take too long and then it was time for a quick shower before dinner.

    We headed out for dinner with Nathan, Audrey, Jordan, Christine, and Joren. My random suggestion was to go to a restaurant where I saw pumpjacks on the outside. Christine started polling the group for what they were hungry for and looked at Google Maps. She found a restaurant that one of guides had suggested and also had sizzling pans of meat. Turns out it was the pumpjack restaurant that I wanted to go to, so bonus!

    The restaurant was called Gas Lamp and has a science / historic oil theme to it. There were hundreds and hundreds of gas lamps as decorations inside and the restaurant had 5 levels with a very narrow staircase throughout. There was even a red light green light system to direct traffic up and down.

    The drink menu had a section called Chemical Experiements, basically their selection of different cocktails. We interpreted that you could actually sample each one and the drinks came in a rack of test tubes! It was fun to try them and not know what to expect for flavor. Some were really good, some we didn't finish. For an appetizer Brooke shared a pickle tray with Audrey that had red cabbage and pickled vegetables and I had spicy meatballs. Dinner I had a spiced pork sausage and Brooke had a braised beef with legit horseradish ice cream.

    After dinner we wandered over to П'яна Вишна (drunk cherry) to have a famous cherry wine. Bought a bottle to share amongst the 7 of us and stood outside on the street and drank it in the provided glass tumblers. Brooke really wanted to bring a bottle home so she purchased one in a decorative hard tube. Packing is going to be fun tomorrow.....

    We then walked back to Rynok Square. A couple of the guys decided to go for a beer at Pravda, local craft beer. The rest of us went shopping to souvenir stores around the square. At one point we got separated and it was Nathan, Brooke, and myself as a small group. We went back into Kryvika (Ukrainian bunker restaurant) to go to the souvenir shop but diverted downstairs to walk it through again. Realized there was a separate section outside where you could climb 5 flights of stairs to the roof where there was an anti-aircraft cannon that you could sit in and fully rotate. Super cool!

    Shortly after, we headed back to the hotel as it was time for bed and we have our last performance tomorrow.

    Tyler
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  • Day14

    Joryj Ktoc....Best Ukrainian Rock Band

    August 10 in Ukraine ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

    We booked it back to the hotel to get ready for our performance. We had left ourself a forty five minutes to finish makeup and get dressed. We had to be in our costumes already as we were walking to Rynok Square (one of the most iconic and picturesque parts of Lviv). It was about a fifteen minute walk to the outdoor performance. The stage was quite elevated compared to the audience and they had tent change rooms set up behind. Shortly after we arrived, I saw Marta in the crowd and beckoned to her. She came over and chatted (she speaks very quickly). Luckily Audrey was nearby and graciously helped to interpret. Marta wanted to take us to her house but we tried to explain it really won’t be possible... just about every minute is planned out until we leave.

    This performance was the first opportunity for all the participating groups to dance together in one show. I particularly enjoyed watching Zabutny from Regina; they had lovely costumes, intricate choreography and beautiful technique. We performed Buko, Trans, and Hutsul. When I was on the stage, it struck me just how beautiful out surroundings were. The stage was pretty hot, much like other sunny performances we’ve done.

    After the performance, we immediately had to go to our hotel to change clothes and go to the Zabava, the main party of the festival. It was held in an interesting setting - an old glass plant turned into a night club. There were hors d’oeuvres and vodka (which we decided to skip) and pretty shortly after we arrived, a band started playing. It was a bit too crowded (venue a bit too small for the number of people) but luckily there was a rooftop patio which was pretty cool. The patio wasn’t private to our group though. Tyler was definitely a bit of a papa bear, making sure no creepy men were hitting on our teenage dancers. The view was gorgeous but eventually we decided to go back to the main event.

    The band changed over to a pop singer. His name was Nazar, and he was a cooler version of Ihor Bohdan. Not bad to listen to but not our dancing style.

    Next was Joryj Ktoc and they were epic! Tyler came to grab me to show me that the band had a lira (Ukrainian instrument we mentioned in a previous post). It was amazing to watch and listen to! They were kind of a rock band but the sound was unique and I’m not sure it does it justice to just say rock band. It was so high energy (we were jumping up and down the whole time they played). It was so much fun! We bought their CD and got all four of the members to sign it. It’s made out to Broke and Tylir... close enough!

    Euphoria from Edmonton was the last band of the night. They were fabulous and we were thrilled to have a couple last polkas. Kolomeyka was at around midnight which was a bit too late. Tyler participated a little bit but I just watched.

    After kolomeyka, our contingent left for the bus. There were about ten of us that had stayed til the end of the party and I’m really glad we did.

    It was such a fun and varied day between a workshop, a performance, and the zabava!

    We are getting pretty exhausted but we have to keep the energy up to make the most of these last busy days in Lviv!

    Brooke
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  • Day13

    Beautiful Lviv

    August 9 in Ukraine ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    This morning we woke up and had to pack up all the costumes and our luggage again. Not going to lie, we went to bed late and didn't get enough sleep, plus I have definitely felt better on other mornings. Brooke was perfectly fine, I think she was faking some of the vodka toasts last night.

    Quick breakfast, checked out, and then loaded up the bus for the last time. Bus call had been pushed back by an hour to give everyone some more rest, but that means it will cut into our market shopping time in Lviv. The bus ride was about 2 1/2 hours, Brooke had a solid nap pretty much the whole time.

    We arrived in Lviv and immediately from just driving around on the bus I could tell that this is a beautiful city. We arrived at Hotel Lviv and had lunch prior to unloading the bus and checking in. The room we have is massive and actually has two single beds pushed together plus an extra bonus bed for some reason! We quickly dumped our bags, freshened up, and headed out to find the market and do some shopping!

    We headed out with some friends and a rough idea of directions. Walked toward the Lviv Opera House which is a beautiful building and one of the main sights to see (and we have the potential of performing there in a few days). The market was just a block away from here.

    This market was more in an open area compared to Yaremcha and it just has all of the vendors sitting in their staked out spot. The vendors range from Ukrainian shirts to art paintings, typical souvenirs, and what looked like random junk people were selling from their basement. We did a lap to get a sense of what was all available and then settled in to look at the handmade Ukrainian shirts/blouses more closely.

    The detailed embroidery of these shirts were stunning. We spent a lot of time looking through what each lady had and ended up finding some great purchases. What was neat was that when these ladies are not trying to sell a shirt, they are all just sitting at their spot and working on the embroidery of their next item. Very cool to stand back and watch for a moment.

    After a while we left the market to go check out a couple of actual shops on the main road. At this point I was starting to get quite hungry and we wouldn't be eating for another 4 hours, so we made an emergency stop at McDonald's. I tried a burger that looked most interesting and that I could point to. Brown bread for the bun and I think the patties were pork, so very successful in trying something new at a foreign McD's.

    Once finished we took another gander at the market for gift ideas but didn't have any luck so we headed back to our hotel to regroup for 20 minutes. I lied down and could have napped hard, but right when I was nearly out, Brooke said it was time to get moving again (tour song should be "I'm In a Hurry to Get Things Done").

    We are actually in Lviv for the International Ukrainian Dance & Culture Festival and today was the opening ceremony. There are lots of other ukrainian dance groups here, lots from Canada and even one from Brazil. We were bussed to a theatre, seated, and waited a while for it to start. There was an opening speech from Vince Reese (founder of Cobblestone Freeway) and then we were treated to an unexpected full performance by the Poltava Ensemble. This was a full show of predominantly Ukrainian singing with a small storyline threaded and a bit of dancing every once in a while. We both really wish we had been able to understand the lyrics and the storyline. I think it had something to do with one family didn't want their daughter to marry the son of another family, but then there was a gift of a horse, everyone was happy and they had a wedding. I was also fighting sleep for part of it due to the dark theatre without air conditioning and staying up the night before.

    When the show was done, we were bussed back to the hotel and then a small group of us set off to find some dinner. We took a recommendation from Kim and Kristen and went to Cosa Nostra for Italian food. Initially we were seated inside and it was incredibly warm and stifling in there. Jordan looked like he was 4 minutes away from a Tyler-type meltdown. Luckily a table opened up on the patio that we were able to fit 5 people into and we were able to enjoy the evening outside and people watch.

    For an appetizer we had a beautifully presented charcuterie platter of cheese, salami, butter coated in poppyseeds, sesame seeds, and chili flakes, and prosciutto wrapped breadsticks all on a turn table that made it extra fun to eat. Dinner we shared a caesar salad and then Brooke had a gnocchi bolognese and I had a rabbit ravioli.

    To finish off the night we went to a must-do bar/restaurant called Kryivka. The restaurant is situated in the basement of a building and is dressed up to look like an old military bunker. You are greeted by an old Ukrainian man at the front door who says "Slava Ukraini" and you respond with "Heroiam Slava", then he says "Death to Russians"and you have to do a shot before going downstairs. There are old-school Ukrainian military advertisements and equipment on all of the walls. We shared a beer with some of the dancers and Shane. It was really cool to experience and I'm glad we were able to fit it in. Afterwards we went back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep.

    Tyler
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  • Day14

    Last Workshops of the Tour!

    August 10 in Ukraine ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    We have a busy festival schedule ahead of us so Tyler and I decided to get up a bit early to try to create a bit of spare time in our day. We had hotel breakfast and took a walk out to the market. The internet says the market opens at 8 AM. We arrived there around 8:45 but it was clear that the set up was just in its early stages. It was clear we couldn’t get any meaningful perusing done so we tottered back to the hotel and bought a lot of water on the way home for the days ahead.

    Before we knew it, it was time to hop on the bus to go to our Poltava workshops. They were run by the Poltava State Ensemble, the same group that performed at the opening ceremonies. We had two separate workshops that were each about one hour. The first workshop was in a basement dance studio. When we arrived, we could hear the tail end of the workshop before us (all the groups in the festival had staggered workshop times). I have no idea what group it was but Shane said the director was saying “pohanu” (terrible) and “uvohu” (be quiet). I was a bit nervous and expected the workshop to be very hard. As it turned out, the choreography we learned was reasonably simple. As a result, it was possible to watch the style of the actual Poltava dancers and really try to copy their body positioning. Another funny thing was that the director did not stand up once during the workshop; his dancers demonstrated and he shouted from a chair on a pedestal at the front. The good thing was he was usually saying “molotsi” (something like wonderful) so I guess we did pretty well.

    In a snap, it was upstairs to the stage for the second workshop. It was run by one of the Poltava ensemble senior dancers who had an epic moustache (see photo). Again the choreography was quite simple. The most interesting and difficult to execute part was this one dance where you had to deliberately sickle your feet. It has been so engrained into me from the age of three not to sickle ... it actually was physically painful to make my lower legs do that. They explained this move is supposed to mimic shaking something gross off your shoe. It was really interesting to try but I don’t think that particular style will be coming to Canadian stages anytime soon.

    The bus shuttled us back to our hotel but we decided not even to go upstairs to save time. We walked to a place called Burger & Meat for a quick lunch. The burgers were really good (I think Drew would have loved them). In keeping with most of this trip, we had just a tiny bit of spare time before needing to prepare for our show. It was ambitious, but Tyler and I decided to make a quick run to the market to look at the art and succeeded in buying a beautiful painting of a Ukrainian cottage that was painted by an artist in Lviv.

    (Rest of the day in a second post)

    Brooke
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  • Day4

    Lemberg (Lwiw) Ukraine

    June 13 in Ukraine ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    Polnisch/Ukrainische Grenze : 1.5 Std Wartezeit incl. Kontrolle des Fahrzeugs ist noch erträglich.
    Als Entschädigung gibts eine 60 Ltr. Tankfüllung für 50 € und 75 km gute Straßen (die gabs vor 5 Jahren noch nicht ) bis Lemberg.
    Lemberg gehörte früher zum Kaiserreich Österreich /Ungarn und hat deshalb jede Menge an Kultur und phantastisch schöner und ursprünglicher Architektur zu bieten. Die Stadt ist voller Touristen und hier tanzt im warsten Sinne des Wortes "der Bär". Tolle unter.-und ober.-bzw überirdischer Berkwerks und Ritterkneipen in tiefen Gewölbekellern gibts hier, das hat noch keiner gesehen. Am besten fährt man wie wir mit dem Fahrrad oder dem Touristenzüglein durch die Stadt. Wer mit dem Wohnmobil kommt hat die Möglichkeit an den Stellen zu übernachten wo wir auch standen. Einfach auf manuelle Koordinaten gehen.
    Ein toller ausgefüllter Tag mit gutem und preiswertem Essen, den wir so schnell nicht mehr vergessen werden.
    Entfernung Freiburg-Lemberg ca. 1500 km.
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  • Day7

    Day 7 - Lviv Part One

    April 6 in Ukraine ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Since our project came to an end, we travelled to Lviv to enjoy everything else Ukraine has to offer.

    We visited famous landmarks and ate at a Jewish restaurant. The restaurant menu shows no prices - you have to negotiate about the price after you ate!

You might also know this place by the following names:

Lviv, Lwiw, Львив, Lwif, Lemberg, Lemburg, لفيف, Lvov, Львов, Горад Львоў, Лвов, Lavov, لڤیڤ, İlbav, Λβιβ, Lvivo, Leópolis, لووف, Ljviv, לבוב, Lwów, Լվով, LWO, Leopoli, リヴィウ, ლვოვი, 리비우, Leopolis, Leopul, Lvovas, Ļvova, Лавов, लिव्हिव, Львов ош, Lembärsch, لویو, Liov, Львів, Liòpuli, Ľvov, Lwůw, லிவீவ், ลวีฟ, لیویو, Leopołi, לעמבערג, 利沃夫

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