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

September 19 - October 2, 1999

Our first train ride in Ukraine

From Kyiv to L'viv

Tuesday, September 21, 1999

Back at the Lybid, we were told to be ready to leave after dinner. Having been warned to take our own food, we went next door to Kiev's largest supermarket, and bought water, cheese, cold cuts, bread and pastries.

After dinner at the hotel, we put our bags outside our doors to be collected, then climbed into a small bus. Our transfer to the Kiev main train station was routine (we could have walked, the distance was barely two blocks), but we were all a bit nervous, having heard stories of poor facilities, bandits, and worse.

Since it was dark, I couldn't get any photos of the terminal, but snapped this one from Goggle Street View. Unlike the airport, which had not been very busy, the train station was jammed, even at 9 p.m. when we arrived. Reluctant to be parted from our bags, we hurried to the platform and found them safely ahead of us.

Our accommodations, while not as modern-looking as Amtrak, were clean and reasonably comfortable, and our attendants were pleasant and helpful. The car must have been thirty or forty years old - or maybe it was just the Soviet utilitarian design that made it look that way.

The ride was bumpy and noisy, but for me that's half the fun of a train-ride, the swaying and clickety-clack. I was probably the only member of the group who found the trip enjoyable. I heard several say they would stick to air transport next time. That strange white contraption at one end of the car was a boiler they used to heat the water for our tea (sweet, but welcome).

Our compartments would have slept four, but we were booked two each, so were able to put our bags on the upper bunks and sleep below. The toilet facilities were a challenge, I admit, especially towards the end of the trip. Our provisions from the market in Kiev served us well.



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Created -- 03/22/2007 Revised -- 03/22/2007