Ukraine – a true Cultural Experience
I’d like to start this blog post by thanking all of you who contacted my passengers and I after the terrible Ukrainian International Airline tragedy that took so many Canadian lives. I can tell you we are touched knowing you were worried about us but as you know at no time have we been in any danger. We are very much enjoying our time in Ukraine but our hearts are with the many families that lost loves ones. Just minutes ago I learned that Iran shot down that aircraft – how tragic.
January 8, 2020
This morning after breakfast we headed to Yaremche, a local community so we could visit their market which attracts locals by the bus load and tourists from around the world. The vendors carry all kinds of items – handicrafts, homemade liquors, dried berries, honey, souvenirs …. the list goes on and on.
Last time I was in Ukraine I purchased small handmade hutsul figures made by a talented artist from a local town. I went back to the same market vendor and when the seller heard I was from Canada he went in the back of his shop and brought out the finest work from this artist. I purchased a few more to add to my collection.
The market is located on both sides of a picturesque river. This picture doesn’t do the scenery justice.
Lunch was in a beautiful restaurant that has been visited by many Ukraine Presidents and Celebrity’s. Once again a superb meal. Caviar was served and the chef shreds the butter which is placed on the table making a nice presentation,
On the way back to our hotel we stopped at an interesting brewery – it was packed with locals getting “plastic bottles” filled with their favourite brew.
We also made a stop to see the upside down house – yes even the toilet is upside down!
This afternoon my passengers had time to enjoy the spa and pool area at our resort. Some enjoyed people watching in the massive lobby – this deluxe 5 star hotel attracts an international crowd.
Dinner was at a quaint, very special restaurant that overlooks the ski community. There was a sign saying that it is only open in the winter. We have enjoyed so many excellent meals during this tour but the cooks in this restaurant prepared one of our best meals yet. Its common in many of the restaurants and at homes that there is the First Table – a variety of cold dishes – salads, pickles, cold meats…. Soup often follows and mushroom seems to be the most common one. The main course entrees were served next. The dessert was a pumpkin cake that Tarus our guide grew up lovin when his Grandmother made it – its called Zapikanaa (means baked). I want to see if I can find a recipe when I get home.
January 9, 2020
We breakfast said farewell to the staff at the Radisson Blu, Bukovel. We got to know a few of them during our 4 night stay.
Through the night freezing rain fell making the ski hills very icy. I went out on my hotel room balcony and as the brave skiers passed I could hear the ice crackle in the snow.
We ended up departing on time but our driver had to take his time driving through the mountains so we were an hour behind schedule.
Chernivtis is known as the “Small Vienna in the East” – its our home for 2 nights. The pedestrian street looks like a movie set!
Our charming boutique 5 star hotel is located on one of the town squares. It’s interior is very ornate – lovely.
Today is the 3rd Christmas Day Celebration – “angel day” – named after Steven/Stephanie.
Our elegant restaurant luncheon featured a shrimp/salmon salad and bbq pork chops – enjoyed by all.
We explored the pedestrian street and area around our hotel before our special evening.
Tonight we savoured cuisine prepared by a popular Ukrainian chef in a traditional, beautifully decorated traditional restaurant. At the adjacent table was a young man from Western Australia who is touring Ukraine for a month.
As a “Travel With Bradley” SURPRISE the very talented group “Gerdan” performed for us. They were terrific. These entertainers are local professionals – doctors/lawyers etc who love to sing and their harmonies were beautiful.
What a wonderful evening – a tour highlight for sure!