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

DAY 6 - IVANO-FRANKIVS'K - Івано-Франк 10;вськ

Friday, September 24, 1999

My original goal for this side-trip (hatched even before I left California) was to see Ivano-Frankivs'k, because it was relatively near L'viv, and had a cool name. I had hoped to make the trip by train, but it turned out there wasn't one, or at least it would take a full day, via Timbuktu. Still, I got there!

Father Ken had arranged for the local Caritas representative to meet us and show us around, but the city turned out a disappointment, just a large industrial town with huge factories, lots of huge modern apartment blocks, and bad air. We spent about three hours there, including a very pleasant lunch at an outdoor café in the city center. This city was called Stanislawow under the Poles, renamed in 1962 for the famous Ukrainian writer, Slav scholar and philosopher Ivan Franko.

The statues in front of this huge modern government building used to be Marx and Lenin, but with new heads (!) they are now Shevchenko and Franko.

Recently restored, splendid church frescoes and gilding.


This I liked. Inside the Town Hall was a small museum of local history and culture, including a model of the city in medieval times. I like maps, as they help satisfy my sense of orientation, and this one, with its scale-model buildings like a model train layout pleased me even more.

On the left, our guide here, local director of Caritas, who spoke English fluently, having attended University in the States, and was very friendly and informative, and proud of his home (he was born here). The costumes are traditional of the Hutsuls, in the mountains South from here.

Another church. Long starved for the right to worship, and living in an area where church and state were traditionally closely joined, Ukrainians are now very proud of their religious heritage.

Town Hall and City Center, under reconstruction (!)

More photos of Ivano-Frankivs'k

The City web portal for Ivano-Frankivs'k


We left Ivano-Frankivs'k around 2 pm, and headed south to Kolomyia, our goal for the night.

Housing speculation in Ukraine -
As on the outskirts of every city we visited in Ukraine, here there were half- built homes, huge and empty. We were told that most were begun ten years before, when Independence was achieved. Everyone sank all the money they had into these constructions, figuring that even if they couldn't finish right away, their money would never be worth more, and at least they would have something of value. But even the ones who could afford to finish ended up in messes when they realized there were no utilities, and property rights were poorly defined. Most remain half-finished, unoccupied.

Arriving in Kolomyia, we dropped our bags at the lodgings Father Ken had arranged, this small newly-built "hotel" on the northern edge of the town. To me it looked like it started out as one of those new speculation houses. Foreign investors bought it and converted it into a suites hotel, with six or eight units.

When we arrived, the agent who was supposed to meet us there was nowhere in sight. Dad and Ivan went to look for a phone while I stayed in case the agent showed up. They returned, he arrived, we checked in and toured the place. We were the only guests. The place was already falling apart. No staff, no hot water.

We went into town to meet our guide for the next day, and to have dinner. I left my camera behind, so no photos.


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