Wedding Day in the Ukraine
Wedding Day in the Ukraine!
Today we flew domestically to the West side of Ukraine. It was a wonderful 1 hour flight on a small jet with beautiful views of the countryside.
The airport that we landed in was at one time a military base. This wasn’t a busy airport but it serves the local community well.
We met our two young and very friendly new hosts and coach driver. They were dressed in “Travel With Bradley” polo shirts and the one host had BW put on his cheeks – he towers over me so there is no problem with my passengers spotting him.
I thought todays lunch was possibly our best meal yet – massive tossed salad mixed with a delicious fresh dressing, chicken soup, cabbage rolls and an awesome dessert made with sweet Ukrainian cottage cheese- the chocolate that decorated the plate was a work of art. The restaurant was also a work of art – so creative!
We were met by another local guide who toured us around the compact downtown core. A highlight was when we crashed the end of a wedding service in the impressive Orthodox Church. The family then arranged themselves on the church steps for pictures and my passengers ended up being their secondary photographers. We were all flashing pictures of them. It was lovely to see the Buba Grandmother dressed in traditional attire and 2 men carrying decorative Ukrainian wedding breads.
You probably think we have visited lots of Orthodox Churches and yes, we have but they are all completely different. We’ve been so impressed with all of them. They are truly beautiful and each one is unique.
Believe it or not we even spotted a Canadian food restaurant! We were too busy to go in to check the menu but we got a great chuckle out of it.
The drive into the mountains was so scenic. Our 3 hosts gave my passengers 3 guesses of overnight destinations since this is a Mystery Journey – only 1 person guessed right. Nobody imagined that the Ukraine would have a world class ski resort which would be our home for 3 nights.
The views on our way to the mountains were beautiful – small towns with wedding celebrations in ALL of them – we saw farmers planting potato’s – oxen pulling wagons – ladies selling preserves and homemade vodkas and many small chapels on family properties. The mountain people work so hard and travel is not always easy so chapels are often set up at crossroads where neighbours can come to pray.
Our 5 star hotel for 3 nights is another world class one. Its just passed ski season (we did see someone skiing today) so this ultra deluxe resort is quiet which is wonderful for us.
We gathered for pre-dinner cocktails and then dinner followed in the main dining room.
There is one other group in the hotel – all business men – they were eating before we took our seats and they were still eating after we were done. Since we are usually on a time schedule the restaurant staff have been doing their best to serve us quickly but this isn’t their norm – Ukrainian patrons will often sit in a restaurant for 4-5 hours so they can visit with one another and there are long pauses between meal courses. Most of our meals have been mega course feasts – where the delicious food keeps coming!
The weather today was in the 20’sC – wedding guests were beautifully dressed but most others were enjoying Saturday strolls wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Before we left the predicted weather wasn’t this warm so my shorts and t-shirts are at home….. I might have to go shopping!