UKRAINE

We spent last week in the city of Lviv. The old town is beautiful with a thriving tourist presence & a young population experiencing modernity to the fullest they can. It is the most Ukrainian of cities w/ a strong nationalist identity.

A few photos from our time there:
Life in Lviv generally reflects much the same normality found anywhere else in the world.

Young & old enjoy the many pleasures a major city like Lviv can offer them.

There is a thriving cafe culture (we were told people drink on average three cups of coffee a day there).
As previously said, Lviv is the most nationalistic of Ukrainian cities. You see this in the number of Ukrainian flags & frequent use of its colors.

It is also evident in the context of the very bad feelings generated by the very one-sided reporting of the situation in the east.
As we were in Lviv the new school year began. A great many people, especially children were wearing clothes displaying traditional Ukrainian folk designs.

We traveled to several outlying towns & villages & found that this tradition was also alive & well there, not just in Lviv.
There are extremely few elements remaining of the Soviet Union era in Lviv. During that time the old town was not touched so there are no Soviet-era buildings to be seen there.

When the medieval city was burned to the ground Italian architects were employed to rebuild Lviv.
A selection of views of Lviv from atop Lviv Town hall tower.
Wandering in the streets of the old town of Lviv you are enticed by many seductive opportunities to eat & drink. As said previously Lviv has a vibrant coffee culture & you won't walk far before coming across a cafe or kiosk dispensing delicious coffee or a tasty soup or meal.
Unfortunately, due to the extremely one-sided reporting of events in eastern Ukraine when people there demonstrated a wish for autonomy/federal status after the Maidan coup, you do see some anti-Putin sentiment here & there within Lviv.

Hopefully this will disappear in time.
One remaining positive aspect of Russia on show for the tourists in Lviv is a continuing sale of matryoshka dolls in the open air markets dotted around the old town.

Apart from these the only other aspect is that outside the city some youngsters still wear Soviet-era pom poms.
We visited two towns outside Lviv's boundaries, Zhovkva & Dubliany.

Zhovkva is a historic town with a rich history & made for a very pleasant day out from the intensity of city life. Dubliany is where the controversial figure of Stepan Bandera attended college.

Zhovkva:
We visited two towns outside Lviv's boundaries, Zhovkva & Dubliany.

Zhovkva is a historic town with a rich history & made for a very pleasant day out from the intensity of city life. Dubliany is where the controversial figure of Stepan Bandera attended college.

Dubliany:
In a beautiful forest in a suburb of Lviv is an open air Museum of Folk Architecture. We spent a tranquil day there wandering around the wooden buildings, homes, schools & churches & also wandering in the forest they are set within.

The sounds of the city are hardly heard...
All in all Lviv is a very pleasant city w/ much to offer. If you stay in the city center you will find much to enjoy. If you venture outside the only negative aspect is the public transport which suffers from the lack of a Metro system. Buses are often packed to absolute maximum.
The people of Lviv are very kind & helpful. We enjoyed our stay & will visit Ukraine again in future w/ a visit to Kiev.

We hope very much that relations between Ukraine & Russia are normalized as soon as possible. The first positive signs for years have just recently occurred.
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