After days of driving from town to town, and moving from hotel room to hotel room, it has been a real joy to stay put for a few days, unpack our bags, walk instead of drive, and enjoy big city life. Visiting L'viv has been a wonderful ending for our trip to Ukraine.
|After all the fancy welcome signs across Ukraine, L'viv, this is the best you can do?|
The city of the Lion has been known variously as Lwow (Poland), Lemberg (Germany), and L'viv (Ukraine), over the years, depending upon the regime or government that controlled it.
|The Lion of L'viv after too much pyvo (beer)|
Formerly the capital of Galicia, L'viv is now one of the largest and most important cities in Ukraine. Despite Soviet and Nazi occupation during World War II, the "Stare Misto" (or Old City) has retained its beautiful historic buildings and extensive cobblestone streets.
|...although some local women flaunt practicality.|
|Terrific weekend second-hand book market but Ukrainian or Russian language skills required|
|Beware: You are entering Livy Berah|
|It was wonderful to see a Caprese salad on the menu after so few vegetables in the 'provinces', but who expected mayonnaise, and so much of it?|
|Or, for that matter, so much butter on the potato varenikes? But oh, were they fabulous.|
|The grand Opera and Theatre of L'viv, beneath which lies the cafe Livy Berah|
|Politics anyone? You can find it daily at Prospekt Svobody.|
|Some locals playing chess, or is it checkers, on a bench on the main drag|
|We're not sure about the soldiers but they look like they're having fun.|
|Like the rest of Ukraine, you can't escape pork even in Ploshcha Rynok.|
|This beautiful building houses a branch of the L'viv City History Museum|
|This too is a branch of the history museum, which Lev (check out the dude in the orange t-shirt) is about to visit|
L'viv is rich with beautiful statues, churches, plaques, museums, and other historical buildings. Here are a few of the ones we visited:
|The medieval wall of L'viv is still standing; unlike us after some particularly filling dinners|
|It's easy to get around to the sites in L'viv as the downtown core is awash with streetcars and buses of all sizes and descriptions|
|More street and cafe culture in L'viv: Apparently a great place to meet girls|
|If your home is on fire in L'viv, the fire truck might come from this gorgeous fire station|
Lev's move to the university for a five-week Ukrainian language programme late Sunday afternoon, and our own return to Toronto tomorrow morning, has also changed the ambiance of the trip. Lev is enjoying the programme so far, which is terrific, but his absence means that this blog post won't benefit from his stellar work on the photographs and captions. We apologize in advance for our failings.
We hope that you have enjoyed our blog and experienced a bit of the excitement we have felt in our trip to Ukraine. There will be at least one more blog post after we return to Canada, that will provide some travel advice should you wish to make the trip yourselves.
Your blogging travelers (guess who is who):