Ukraine – Final impression

Lviv, Ukraine

And June is almost over, so I’m showing you the last picture from Ukraine.
How did you like to travel with me in June?
I hope, I managed to show you some interesting places in Ukraine. 🙂

If you think about visiting Ukraine, especially Kiev, have a look at this nice guide.
It was made by Vladyslav Tieriekhov for Eurovision 2017 (that took place in Kiev).

p.s. See you tomorrow in other exciting place! 🙂

Ukraine – Eupatoria

Eupatoria, Crimea, Ukraine

Eupatoria (or Yevpatoria) is an interesting city with a long history.
It’s located in Crimea and it’s one of the main Black Sea resorts.

There are two places you cannot miss while being in Eupatoria:
– The Juma-Jami Mosque, from 1522;
and
– The wonderful Karaite Kenassa, seen in today’s picture.
Karaite Kenassa is the temple complex of Crimean Karaites. I was mostly impressed by its courtyards – simply beautiful! 🙂

Ukraine – Bakhchysarai

Bakhchysarai, Crimea, Ukraine

Bakhchysarai is a nice town in central Crimea.
It’s lovely located in a valley, nearby mountains, so no wonder the region was inspiring for many; even for Russian poet Alexander Pushkin’s or Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz.

When you go to Bakhchysarai – you have to visit the impressive Khan’s Palace (then you understand my first impression about Crimea).

Ukraine – Astronomical Observatory in Crimea

Astronomical Observatory in Crimea, Ukraine

My visit to Ukraine was connected with my job. I went to the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO) that is located in Nauchnyj, in Crimea.
I spent a few days in Crimea, so I had a chance for sightseeing nearby places.
It’s always nice when you can combine pleasure with work. 🙂

Ukraine – Snakes

Crimea, Ukraine

I come from a country where not so many poisonous animals live, I mean wild animals, people are excluded. 😉 So the idea of meeting a snake in a garden is more like a fantasy to me. Knowing that, you can imagine how “unhappy” I was while seeing a snake, when I was hiking in Crimea… Well, I didn’t scream, but was slightly surprised…

The fact is – in Crimean mountains you can find a snake or a viper.

I don’t know what kind of spices I saw, I rather remember a bird…
So, I was hiking and taking pictures. At some point, I heard a bird kind of “shouting” sound. The bird was flying close to the ground – looked like jumping – up and down, up and down, etc… From my perspective, it looked like this tiny bird was shouting-informing that there is a snake coming; and bird was jumping above this snake. I was frozen…
p.s. That snake looked quite big to me, but I may be not the best person for describing the snake’s size. 😉

Ukraine – Black Sea

Crimea, Ukraine

Black Sea is surrounded by six countries, i.e., Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. It’s quite famous destination for people who like resting at the beach; especially Bulgaria is getting more and more popular.

As you see in today’s picture, the color of the Black Sea is not black. 😉 So why is it called like that?
Well, it’s not really clear and there are many theories about its name. One of them says, that color “black” in some languages refers to the direction “north”, so it’s connected with the location of the Black Sea. But it’s only one of the possibilities.

Ukraine – Crimean Tatars

Crimea, Ukraine

When I was visiting Crimea, I had the impression that I’m in Turkey, well, kind of Turkey. It’s probably because of some buildings, mosques, people, everything looked to me more Turkish than Ukrainian (it was just my first impression). And there is some sense in it! E.g., there are Tatars living in Crimea.

Crimean Tatars (sometimes called Crimean Turkish) are a Turkish ethnic group that formed in the Crimean Peninsula during the 13th – 17th centuries.

Ukraine – Crimea

Crimea, Ukraine

Crimea is a peninsula almost completely surrounded by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
It’s located at the south part of Ukraine; currently it’s controlled by Russia (see post from 11.06.2017).

As I already mentioned, when I was visiting Ukraine, Crimea was considered as a part of Ukraine. These days, the political situation is complicated and also visiting Crimea is quite problematic.
Anyway, I liked Crimea a lot, so I want to show you some of my pictures.
Hopefully, one day the situation will be better and you can easily enjoy the beauty of Crimea.

Ukraine – Lviv and Poland

Cemetery in Lviv, Ukraine

The history of Lviv is closely related with Poland. E.g., for a few centuries, Lviv was a part of the Kingdom of Poland.
There are still Polish people living in Lviv. When I was visiting the city, I thought, there were quite many of Poles, but it’s apparently only 1 % of the Lviv population.

Lviv used to be the center of Polish culture. Many notable Polish people were born in Lviv and also many were buried there. When I was in Lviv, I visited the Lychakiv Cemetery and found there many (famous) Polish names. That’s the reason for today’s picture.

Ukraine – Lviv

Lviv, Ukraine

Lviv is my favorite city in Ukraine.
And, I’m not saying it because I’m Polish (Lviv used to belong to Poland). The historic center of Lviv is really lovely and it’s even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

These days, Lviv is considered as one of the most touristic destination in Ukraine. And it’s well prepared for it by having many hotels and restaurants.

What to visit in Lviv?
– Take a long walk in the old town and look at beautiful old buildings or churches (many of them date back the Polish rule 🙂 ).
-I can also recommend to go to the Lviv High Castle.

Ukraine – Chernobyl

Ukraine

Have you heard about the Chernobyl disaster?
– Maybe it’s a silly question, but I come from Poland, that borders Ukraine, so I heard the name “Chernobyl” thousand times. It may be not so obvious for people from outside Europe.

In 1986, in Chernobyl, a catastrophic nuclear accident happened.
One of the reactors at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded during some tests and the consequences were horrible; probably they’ll be seen for thousands of years… 🙁
Currently, Chernobyl (or nearby Pripyat, but I’ll just write Chernobyl) is a ghost town with a few people living there (they came back after the evacuation, despite the pollution, they wanted to live their old life in their houses…).

Chernobyl is located 90 km from Kiev. From the Ukrainian capital you can take a trip and visit Chernobyl. I didn’t go there and I’m so so sure about visiting the place; maybe as a scientist, otherwise, I don’t’ know… Would you like to go there?

p.s. Today’s picture is not from Chernobyl, I even didn’t take it nearby Chernobyl. As I said, I didn’t go to Chernobyl. This picture somehow fitted the best for today’s topic, because it shows a wreck (and water – water was actually one of the reasons of the disaster).

Ukraine – Kiev

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, Ukraine

What to visit in Kiev?
– Well, it depends how much time you’re going to spend there.
In each place, I always recommend to walk in a city center, without any goal, just to follow your “travel-instinct”. It works the best, when you have time. If your trip is short and you want to visit some of the most characteristic places, start with Khreshchatyk Street. Then check churches or monasteries, e.g., St Andrew’s Church (yesterday’s photo), St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery (today’s picture), St Sophia’s Cathedral (see post from 06.06.2017), St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral, Kiev Monastery of the Caves, Golden Gate of Kiev, and Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti).
There are many churches listed above, but they are so unique, so it’s worth to visit all of them.

Ukraine – Music

Kiev, Ukraine

I guess, many of you heard that Ukraine hosted this year (2017) the Eurovision Song Contest.
If you like music, especially traditional music, you should know that it’s likely to meet some musicians on the streets.

In Kiev, I met the man from today’s picture. Do you maybe know the name of his instrument?
I think, it’s a bandura, however, other Ukrainian musical folk instruments e.g., kobza or torban look quite similar.

Ukraine – The Best of

Ukraine

Well, it’s a bit difficult to give a short list of the best attractions of Ukraine. I’ll give you then just a few names.

Definitely, you shouldn’t miss the Ukrainian capital – Kiev.
It’s a great city, and nearby you’ll also find nice places.

Lviv and Chernihiv are beautiful cities.

Chernobyl (Chornobyl) is becoming more popular, however I’m not so sure about visiting it… (in a few days, I’ll tell you more about it)

I liked Crimea a lot. Unfortunately, because of the political situation it’s not really possible to visit it.
If you want to go to the harbor city on the black sea, check e.g., Odessa.

I guess, they are the most known cities in Ukraine. There are many more interesting places to visit. If you’re planing to travel to Ukraine, check some of the off-the-beaten-path sites in Ukraine. 🙂

Ukraine – Who visits Ukraine?

Ukraine

I saw somewhere statistics presenting nationalities of tourists visiting Ukraine. Tourists mostly come from the neighborhood countries, so from Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Slovakia (not in this order). I guess, it’s usually the case, that we visit our neighbors.
However, it was the situation before 2014. I believe that number of Russians visiting Ukraine dropped drastically…

Ukraine – Tourism

Ukraine

Let’s stop with politics and continue discovering Ukraine. 🙂

Ukraine has plenty attractions, e.g., mountains, Black Sea, nature reserves, as well as interesting cities and towns.
Until 2014, Ukraine was a very popular European destination. After the conflict with Russia (see post from 11.06.2017) many people got scared and decided not to go to Ukraine. There are some “unstable” places in Ukraine that should be omitted by tourists, but there are still many safe sites. So, if you think about visiting Ukraine – do it, just check the general advises from your embassy. 🙂

Ukraine – Russia

Ukraine

Today, one more fact from “politics”. It also affects tourists, so I should mention it here.
When I was visiting Ukraine, Crimea was treated as a part of Ukraine (so I’ll show you in June, some places from the Crimean Peninsula).
Since 2014, Russia has controlled the region and claims that it’s a Russian territory. Ukraine and almost all other countries consider Crimea as Ukrainian.
I don’t want to write how difficult all situation is. Just as a tourist, be aware of problems you may face while entering Crimea; e.g., to enter Crimea (currently), you need a Russian visa. However, for Ukraine, it’s an illegal way of entering Ukrainian territory.
It’s all complicated…