Western Ukrainian snapshots; August 2014

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Images from our time in Western Ukraine.  This part of the country is characterized by Euro-Ukrainian cities such as Lviv, Uzhorod, and Ivano-Frankivsk, with roots also in Poland, Galicia, Czechoslovakia, Austria-Hungary, and more; a narrow swathe of the Carpathian Mountains, forested and crawling with people growing things and herding things and collecting things, and some tourists like ourselves; and a unique take on the state and future of the country, naturally.  Most of our time was spent in the mountains, and on either side of the mountains riding to and from Lviv and Uzhorod.  We spent a few days in transit to visit family in the southwest, or perhaps it may be called the south-central part of the county.  It is closer to Odessa and the Moldovian border than I realized.  Technically, this is all from the western half of the country, at the crossroads of our lives and Ukrainian life.  

The billboard reads, “My dad protects Ukraine! Are you ready?”  

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6 thoughts on “Western Ukrainian snapshots; August 2014

    • Anton, Thanks for the offer. I was thinking of visiting Kyiv again after Bershad, where my family lives in southern Vinnytsia Oblast. Instead, we chose to make a quick return to our bikes in the mountains and continue our ride. By now, we’re bound for the Balkans. Next time we’re in Kyiv we’ll come find you.

  1. Wonderful posts and photos. Congratulations on the adventures. I am a fellow bike tourist (though my only big trip was Venice to Lofoten, Norway) and Ukrainian-American. Do you speak any of the language? I started visiting Ukraine in ’91, and lived in Lviv from ’93-’95 and may have been the first to mountain bike (Bridgestone MB-4) in the Carpathians back then judging by most villager’s reactions backs then. Was there in July this year and also took the electric train to Skole from Lviv with about 30+ bikers one Saturday morning- it was so great to see. Down the road am hoping to organize a European bike camping tour for kids from Ukraine.

    • Thanks Mark! I am glad to see that Ukrainians are taking to the mountains with their bicycles. Most Ukrainian roams require a bike at least like that MB-4, if not more! I am happy to see the DH scene blossoming. Pylypets is also home to an annual XC event called the MTB Marathon (80km?). And on the weekends, young people come from all over the country to ride in the mountains. I’ve met kids from Kharkiv who spent 30hours on the train to ride from Volovets to Sinevir Lake. I didn’t visit the lake, but Lael did and couldn’t quite understand the attraction. I guess we are spoiled with tons of lake where we grew up, in Alaska and New York.

      The electric-train from Lviv to the mountains makes me laugh every time. Those woman treat me like a ten-year-old every time!

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