Introduction
Day 1 - San Francisco to Prague
Day 2 - Kyiv from the air
Day 2 - Boryspil International Airport
Day 2 - First Views Of Kyiv
Day 3 - Guided Tour of Kyiv
Day 3 - Kyiv - On our own
Day 3 - Night train from Kyiv to L'viv
Day 4 - L'viv with Father Ken
Day 5 - Radekhiv
Day 5 - Vytkiv
Day 6 - Trip to Kolomyia
Day 6 - Halych
Day 6 - Ivano-Frankivs'k
Day 7 - Bazaar at Kosiv
Day 7 - Between Kosiv and Kolomyia
Day 7 - Kolomyia
Day 8 - Zvenyhorod
Day 8 - Back in L'viv
Day 9 - L'viv with Orest and Vitali
Day 10 - L'viv - Morning walk with Dad
Day 10 - L'viv on my own
Day 11 - L'viv with Dad
Day 11 - Night train to Budapest
Day 12 - Budapest
Day 13 - Budapest
Day 13 - Szentendre
Day 14 - Homeward bound

TRIP TO UKRAINE
September 19 - October 2, 1999

DAY 7 - KOSIV - Косів
Bazaar at Kosiv

Saturday, September 25, 1999

The next morning we started out very early to Kosiv, for the Bazaar. No one had bothered to warn me we would be leaving at six, without breakfast, and with five minutes to splash cold water on my face and get dressed. We drove into town to pick up our guide, Larissa, an attractive young woman who knew Father Ken, and presumably was the local rep for Caritas, but I never learned her story.

The countryside, rolling hills as we approached the Carpathian Mountains, was beautiful, with mist-filled valleys on all sides.

   

Our guide, Larissa, seemed new to the tour guide role, and for a while unable to comprehend what we were up to. I think the idea of tourism was new to her, or her taste was just very different from ours, or Dad was simply not passing along any of my suggestions and questions. Whatever the explanation was, soon after we started out I felt like the day was turning into a disaster, and wishing I had never suggested this. I was hungry, and had no idea when I would get a decent breakfast, or indeed whether we were actually going where we had intended. I tried to think happy thoughts.

The Kosiv Bazaar

This is what we had come to see, based on a recommendation back at the hotel in L'viv, millions of miles behind us. It was pouring rain by the time we arrived, around 8:00, and we almost left right away. What were we doing here? Larissa had seemed baffled we would want to visit this god-forsaken place. And in this weather! Ivan parked, and from somewhere produced umbrellas. We stumbled out of the car and trudged down the muddy path to the entrance to the bazaar. We knew we were in the right place, at least, the crowd swelled steadily. Good to get here early. Would there be food?

Bazaar? What Bazaar?
The stalls at the entrance looked like just more of the same stuff we'd seen at every sidewalk stall in Kyiv and L'viv - toothpaste, soap, candy. Old clothes. Old furniture. The same old story. I was ready to leave, but Dad and Larissa, deep in conversation, plowed ahead.

Larissa now seemed interested, and enticed us further in - surprising, considering her reluctance the prior day to come at all, but maybe she figured after coming all this way we should at least see what we came for. Or had she been having fun with us, pretending this was nothing so we would be even more surprised?

Whatever she had in mind, we were glad we stayed, as this was definitely a high point of the trip.

OK, let's give it a chance.
The stalls nearer the entrance had very practical things for sale, but far beyond what we had seen elsewhere - cows, cars, motors, books, toys - almost anything you can imagine that someone could drive, carry, drag, or lead there was available. I saw a guy selling what looked like just rocks, and asked Dad and our guide what they were. It turned out they were limestone, for making plaster from scratch, which is still the local practice. Dad bought a small piece for later Science Experiments.

We worked our way farther in - quite a ways, actually - the fair seemed to go on and on - and turned a corner, and there were the Hutsul crafts. (The Hutsul people are famous for their ceramics, wood-carving, embroidery, metal-working, etc.)

Well, first there was a coffee stand, with some decent pastries, and that was all I cared about for a while. The rain kept on, and we were still talking about abandoning our mission. Dad said he had plenty of this stuff at home, from prior trips. It didn't look like there was much to see.

Just as we were about to give up, the rain stopped. Dad and Larissa wandered off arm in arm, and I decided I could risk a bit of wandering on my own.

Once I started looking, I realized this area of wooden stalls was huge. There were streets, avenues, and boulevards. I was afraid of getting lost, or worse, so didn't dare go too far, but then I noticed the inscription over this stall, and recognized the name as similar to ours (The lettering could be translated "No. 1 Senkiv Boulevard").

I found Dad and Larissa and led him to my find. He seemed to enjoy the coincidence.

Dad and our guide haggled for Hutsul crafts, at the Senkiv stall. He bought a large wooden plate, beautifully carved, and some smaller items I didn't see. The workmanship looked very good to me.

Finally awake, coffeed and pastried, I was able to enjoy the show. I had no interest in buying souvenirs, no matter how expertly crafted. I bought some pastries to take away (I was afraid they were plotting to starve me), then enjoyed just watching the people. There were lots of food items, but Larissa advised against buying more, and I figured that if even a local had doubts, I'd better be careful. They sure looked good.

The bazaar was huge, and heavily attended - going early was a good idea. We left around 10 am, and headed back towards Kolomyia for lunch and a tour of the city. (The distance from Kosiv to Kolomyia is about 65 km, or 40 miles, but with the condition of the roads, about 50 km/hour was the best we could do.)


Stodnianski Market

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