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

Local shrines, A Wedding Party

Saturday, September 25, 1999

With coffee and some food in me, I was able to enjoy the scenery.

All along the roadside in this area were small shrines like this one, another new feature since the end of Communism. All are new, well-kept, and apparently heavily patronized. I did not see any north of Ivano-Frankivs'k, so apparently they are a local custom, in the area of the Carpathian Mountains and traditional Hutsul culture.

Most were in the villages, adjacent to houses, presumably the creation of the homeowners. This was one of the few that stood apart from any dwellings. It was also larger and more elaborate than most, but the style was typical.


I had trouble at first getting either our driver or our guide to understand the concept of tourism, especially as neither spoke any English. But when I asked about this house, Larissa told Ivan to turn back and stop. Larissa, Dad, and I explored, while Ivan stood by the car. There was a sign, informing us it was a nursery school - not in session on a Saturday.

In a field next door were very friendly sheep - I presume the children play with them. There were chickens roaming the yard. Apple trees heavy with ripe fruit - how bucolic!

Still at the school - This was one of the less-elaborately decorated wells in the region - I didn't hear whether there is any religious or superstitious reason, but it seemed that every structure had to be ornamented. Dad had to try the water, and Larissa did not protest, but I declined.


While we'd been exploring, Ivan had talked to some locals walking by, and once we were back in the car and on our way, he informed us that the school had been built originally as a home for the local Communist Party official!

More local architecture, more wells. Yes, that's just a well on the left in the top photo - I looked to be sure. This area seemed more prosperous than the area North of L'viv - apparently their crafts, and the abundant forests (lumber) help.


We meet a wedding party

One of my favorite moments of the entire trip -
In a village just South of Kolomyia, we encountered this wedding group, and stopped to talk and photograph. It turned out they were the groom's party, making a traditional circuit of the village, ending at the bride's home. Thence they will go to the wedding. They were quite willing to be photographed, unlike many other people we saw. They actually invited us to the wedding, but we had to decline - it would have lasted the rest of the day, and we were due back in Kolomyia for lunch, and in L'viv for dinner. Too bad.


Same village as the wedding, we saw these rain-wilted paper flowers, showing that a wedding took place here recently. This is probably the bride's parents' house. We saw several more gates decorated with similar flowers, which Larissa said must be left until they fall on their own. Again, a custom of just this area.


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