Ukraine is a great country for eating - ironic perhaps, considering the periods of starvation throughout the country's history, but nonetheless, the republic remains regarded as 'the bread bowl of Russia'...
Ukraine may be seeking an identity apart from Russia, but its cuisine is a mix of Russian & Slavic influences, & both these traditions are based around bread...
Ukraine has long been regarded as 'the bread basin of Russia', & if you've ever crossed the country during late summer, you'll know why this is so...
Bread is available in many forms, included sliced white in a bag, but traditional 'khlep' comes as a loaf, & as well as the dark brown wholemeal & rye types, is often decorated with sunflower , sesame, or poppy seeds, with special variations for different festivals...
As well as the whole loaves, sold in supermarkets, kiosks, & bakeries, there are many variations of dough recipes, some of which are filled with sweet or savoury fillings, like a pasty...
Bread is the main breakfast, with jam or honey, cereal rarely being available, apart from kasha, the traditional porridge, which is usually served sugared, or with syrup...
Pancakes are also a breakfast dish, also served with syrup, or sour cream, known as 'smetana', itself something of a national dish, in itself...
Though the bread-based cuisine is alike that of Mediterranean countries, unfortunately for Ukrainian health statistics, it is served with heavily saturated, dairy & meat accompaniments, such as pork fat 'salo', known colloquially as 'Ukrainian heroin'...
If you eat in a restaurant, your meal will probably be accompanied by a sideplate of little greasy balls, amongst which will be salo, for your delectation, or not, unless you're a fan of bread & dripping...
This taste for pure fat & dairy produce, means that not only do Ukrainians live less healthily than other parts of Europe, but there is a high incidence of heart disease, & the national figure does often involve a bulbous paunch...
0ld men are noticable by their absence on Ukrainian streets, simply because men are still only expected to live to 60 - while women do not fare much better, at 71
A favourite dish in Ukraine, shared with the Polish, is 'galooptsy' - cabbage leaves stuffed with spiced meat, usually pork...
Pig meat is the favourite with Ukrainians, especially in the form of sausage, to such extent I've listed it separately on here, titled 'kolbasa'...
The dish most obviously associated with Ukraine, because of its name - Chicken Kiev, is not really considered any more of a national food, than any other...
Soup is another staple dish in Russo-Ukrainian culture, & on my first visit, it was insisted I taste the national dish - 'borshch'...
I was not to enthusiastic about this, because 'borshch' is said to be beetroot soup, & I fail to understand why folk wish to eat a vegetable that tastes only of what it's grown in...
However, pure beetroot soup is 'svyokaleeg', whereas 'borshch' is beetroot based, but with cabbage, tomato, carrot, onion, & many other ingredients - recipes vary depending on the cook, & it really is very tasty...
As well as hot soup, cold soup is also a favourite, especially in hot weather, & a variation on 'borshch' is 'zilyony borshch', meaning green, with the addition of sorrel, sour cream, & hard-boiled egg...
Another soup traditionally served with sour cream, is 'salyanka', which is a broth of stewed cucmbers, & a favourite summer dish...
Cucumbers are the staple of the kitchen garden, to such an extent, that the word for kitchen gardener, as well as colloquialism for a crop-duster plane - 'agoorooznik', is derived from the word for cucmber - 'agoorets'...
Another derivation of the word cucumber, is - 'agoorcheek', meaning gherkin, & many immature cucmbers are pickled by the kitchen gardener, as a source of food for the winter...
Home-pickling is a popular pursuit in Ukraine, & very little that grows from the ground, does not receive the pickling treatment, which requires an acquired taste, when applied to such things as tomatoes...
Another preserving treatment for the fruits of forest or kitchen garden, is to make 'kompote' - a bottled puree that can be diluted when required, & is usually served in a pitcher, with dried fruit at the bottom...
Salad is popular in Ukraine, & many have olives as a staple ingredient, as well as tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, & feta cheese...
Despite the easy availability of salads in Ukrainian restaurants, vegetarianism is rarely catered to specifically, or properly understood, so non-meat eating visitors will not get further than the salad...
Sheshory is a village in the Kosiv District of Ivano-Frankivsk (Western Ukraine). It is a wonderful place to relax and there are many excursions available from most of the hotels to the Carpathian Mountains. The Ukrainian's consider Sheshory to be a spa village and is surrounded by beautiful hills, wonderful landscape and of course the Pystynka River which runs straight through the village.
AN EASTER BREAK IN KIEV.
With the arrival of spring, the city blooms and comes alive with the warm days and pleasant evenings to enjoy promenading along Khreschatyk on or to go to the Botanic Gardens and enjoy the tulip gardens for an afternoon or to the Hydropark which is the city beach on the Dnieper river and relax. This is also the time of celebration of Easter where the pageantry of the churches are in parade and the people celebrate their faith in a colourful way. Then there are the celebrations and memorial for the end of World War 2(Gt Patriotic War) which again is a colourful event of this time of year to enjoy.
There are so many thing to do in this friendly "green" city with it swathe of parks around it that makes it one of the most enjoyable to be in. From taking in the Opera or ballet. Then to the wealth of pubs and eateries from top global names down to the global brand chains entering the market there. The sports facilities have come a long way and the benefits of having Euro2012 there has paid off with better transport facilities and signage even in English . The best thing is that there is just so much to enjoy in the city at this time of year that makes it so great for an Easter break in the warmth where most of western Europe is still suffering from the last throws of winter.
The most awesome experience I have had in an indoor aquapark and spa.Kiev built Europe's largest indoor aquapark and this opened nearly 2 years ago. It is fantastic with a 35metre slide and many others in varying degrees of adrenalin inducement. To also have a fantastic spa facilities here makes it just great to get you back in shape for the rigors of western life. It is part of what is making this city stand out on the map. Then to go to the Opera for a third of the price of London in the restored opera house or go for a fabulous meal for half the price of London. To be able to go and finish the night out with some top class clubbing or just chilling out. Then to go on the adventure trail with a tank or paint balling is just some of the activities but the best is to be able to walk down the Arts and crafts on Andriivs'kyi descent on a lazy Sunday afternoon from the golden domes of St Michaels .
Kyiv is the capital city of Ukraine located in the central region of the country. Kyiv more commonly known as Kiev is a buzzing modern city with ancient churches, castles and palaces on it's door step. Kyiv is the perfect place to spend a couple of days at the end of your travels in Ukraine before departing.
If you are football fans Kyiv has two stadiums. The first is the Olympic Stadium which is the official ground of the Ukraine national football team and the second is the Lobonovsky Stadium which is home to Dynamo Kyiv.
You can get to Kyiv from any major Ukrainian city via train, bus or car.
Kiev and Odessa are both awesome. I would recommend both. Odessa is a bit better in the summer, because it's warmer, but you'll still have fun. I don't have too many recommendations on clubs, but sounds like you got that covered. Check out Andrevskiy Spusk in Kiev and the Lavra. Cool stuff. Odessa also has a really beautiful opera house. In fact, I have a post on my blog http://travelwithashley.com/ if you want more info.
If you want to be a local backpacker you shoould take a train to Przemysl (an interesting place itself) , mini bus to Medyka, cross the border as pedestrian, take marshrutka to Lviv.
Once I did also an interesting one long day trip by getting train from Ustrzyki Dolne to Hiriv (Chyrow in Polish) than by marshrutka to Sambir and Drohobycz (both off the beaten path but interesting cities) and Truskawiec (a bit symbolic spa for Poles and Ukrainians, but also once popular among Soviet Union citizens, not very unique for me). There are also frequent marshrutka (and train) service to Lviv from all of these cities.
Return to Ukrainian Karpaty mountains is my target for a near future.
There are palaces around Lviv-popular among Polish tourist,
Uzhorod is an quite interesting place at Slovakian border. it belonged to six states within last 100 years.
Kamieniec Podilski and Hotin (Chocim) strongholds are frequently visited.
Some visit Chernivtsy on Ukrainian Bucovina (close to Romania)
Krym (Crimea), Odessa, and mentioned by you Kyiv are another interesting destination.
Travelling in Ukraine was always a piece of cake for me, but the language is very similar (and even easier if someone knows Russian a bit). Locals are extremely friendly towards tourists. The rule is like in The UK- the less touristic place the more hospitable people. The public transport (especially marshrutka system) is efficient. The descent accommodation is available sometimes with lower prices than in Poland.
If you are in Lviv Folk open air museum shouldn't be missed.
For people interested in traditional culture- Hutsul area (in Ukrainian Karpaty) - shouldn't be ommited. One of famous band(for those interested in it in Poland) is Roman Kumlyk's one from Verhovyna.
Kvas as a national non-alcohol bevereage should be tasted. There were only sometimes to much fat on pirohy for me, but 'salo' is a national speciality and goes well with pertzovka s medom (hot pepper wih honey vodka) ot alternatively with usual horilka .
Read more: http://forum.virtualtourist.com/forum-1183-1-Travel-Ukraine-1-forum.html#ixzz1g1Zx7aQT
If you are interested in visiting museums, why not go to those museums dedicated to the famous representatives of the Ukrainian culture:
I would also recommend other interesting things:
- going to the opera and drama theaters in the capital and in the regional centers,
- visiting arts museums and picture galleries,
- attending a concert of folk music (on the picture).
Depending on your wishes you can visit some of the most significant places of the cultural heritage in Ukraine:
the memorial places connected with the life of
the Bard of Ukraine
- his birthplace in the village of Moryntsi;
- Shevchenko National Reserve in the town of Kaniv where the great poet was buried;
- the National Shevchenko Museum in the Ukrainian capital;
Christian Orthodox shrines:
- Sophia Cathedral in Kiev
(it is a state reserve now);
- Cave Monastery (Kiev Pechersk Laura) in the capital;
- Pochaiv Laura in Western Ukraine;
- other restored cathedrals, ancient temples in Chernihiv and Lviv.
Ukraine’s independent participation in the international forum of this kind is an opportunity to show the world community the country’s strategy of internal and external development, to reveal its cultural and historical heritage, its contribution to the world’s science, culture and art. This is a unique chance to demonstrate its scientific, technical and educational potential, as well as some examples of solving problems common to all mankind.
In Kiev the Kreshchatyk (downtown) is closed to traffic on Sunday. It is for pedestrians only and is a wonderful time to stroll and really get involved with Ukrainian life. The You can easily walk a couple of blocks up hill to tour St. Sophia, they have great tour guides in all languages) and also catch an Orthodox service at St. Michaels Cathedral (10:00 AM). The real culture of Ukraine is in their religion. From here its a wonderful walk along Andreveski to St Andrews Church, the Baroque church with the green dome, and the Artisan market. Most likely you will see a lot of wedding parties there for pictures and the traditional kiss. An alternative would be to take the tram behind St Michaels to the river. Its also very easy to take a taxi (in Ukraine just about everyone with a car is a taxi) bus or Metro to the Lavra. Its far better to have a guided tour from one of the monks there than a commercial tour director. Kiev is a beautiful city to walk around and experience the food and people.
As for Sevastopol, I would agree with the other comments. More time in the Crimea is way more interesting and fun.
Now I'm in small town Stary Krym (situated between Simferopol and Feodosia - approx. 60km from Simferopol and 20km from Feodosia). I'm very familiar with Feodosia-Sudak cities region 'cause travelled there a lot) (BUT! i'd never been at Sudak fortress - so I can't be usefull there). If you want to visit this region - feel free to mail me. I'm sure i could find you some "babushka" :) accomodation in Stary Krym or "open air" camp site anywhere you like :)) Though I'm almost "local" :)) and speak english fluently I can be usefull somehow
There are many places to see. Look at my posts here:
And in addition (I don't remember if I'd mentioned it in my posts) we can visit Meganom cape vicinity to see a 1887 year built lighthouse (i'd been there about 3 years ago but I hope that lighthousekeeper 'd be glad to see me), Kyzyltash canyon, Karadag mountain Nature Museum and so on in a vicinity. I'm not a guide or some sort but 'll be happy to have a good time with other fellow travellers.
Feel free to mail me GRITZ( )UA.FM (@ instead of ( ) - hope spam wouldn't destroy my mailbox after that
In any case I give all sort of advices (some of them are good :)
This unusual township, also well known as “Ukrainian Venice”, is disposed on the banks of three mouths of the biggest river in Europe. For someone Vilkovo reminds Venice, for others it is marvelous nature side or a place of 0 km. There are some interesting facts about this tiny village at the confluence of the Danube River and the Black Sea.
Vilkovo is located on the South of Odessa region and on the border with Romanian territory. The number of islands here isn’t established yet. The population of the village is about 10,000 people.
Three hundreds years ago the Old Believers, persecuted after the Schism of Russian Orthodox Church, found their shelter here. In the middle of 17th century the Don Cossacks and later Cossaks from defeated Zaporizhska Sich also settled here.
Vilkovo is a marvelous and colorful place, but besides, it is calm, blind and hidden spot in the Danube jungle thickets, known by its fishers and winemakers. They say that local people still speak in old style dialect used in the old Tsar’s time.
The old part of the village is based on the water. The more common method of transportation is by gondolas or motorboats on the excavated cannels of its territory. Channels are crossed by simple wooden bridges, which can be divided by needs. If a boat is transporting oversized cargo, then they remove the top of the bridge, and when the boat passes, put it back on its place. It is compared with a little drawbridge. Also Vilkovo is famous for its grapes and strawberries, planted on the mud, which is like in ancient Egypt gives effect to any plant. Maybe, therefore, almost all year round you may see strawberry on the islands.
Taking a boat trip you may get to all the Danube deltas, including the 0km point from which the Danube is measured throughout Europe. Also you may see the fantastic nature of the Danube Biosphere Reserve. Ecotourism in Vilkovo only gets its popularity, as a great place for fishing and birding. There are nice banks of the Danube River with beautiful nature and numerous exotic birds that live here: goose, striped hawks, pink pelicans, eagles and the famous white-tailed sea eagles.
Sophia’s Park lies on the northern outskirts of Uman.
In Ukraine it is often called Sofiyevka.
It’s a masterpiece of landscape design! Ludwig Menzel, a Polish military engineer, was the chief designer of the park.
Count Potocky dedicated the park in May1802 for his wife’s birthday.
155 hectares of the park are filled with beautiful landscape testifying to the undying love of the Count and his wife.
The park was founded in 1796 by Polish Count Stanislav Felix Potocky and was called in honor of his wife Sophia Vitt who was from Greece.
The Count married Sophia on April 17, 1798 and they lived in Uman since then.
The park is a monument to love.
The park has several names given to it by the people.
Sophia's Park is often called Temple of Nature Poem of Stone, Water and Land A Piece of Paradise for My Beloved A Wonder of Ukraine A Splendid Gift One of Europe’s Wonders.
You will enoy beautiful fountains, waterfalls, grottoes, lakes, bridges and a lot of history at every step. All this beauty was created for the love to the beautiful lady, Count Potocki’s wife.
The park is also called arboretum for the great variety of different trees there.
Sophia’s Park is a legend of Ukraine.
It looks like the park consists of several tires. When you ascend the upper tier, you can enjoy all the beauty of Sophis’a Park from above. It’s simply unforgettable!
The children's railway is one of the most favourite places of rest and amusements of Kharkov's childrens and their parents. It is located in the picturesque forest-park side of the city.
The railway line entirely belongs to the children. The railway staff, consisted of guards, conductors and station masters are children which dressed in special uniform. The young railwaymen get useful knowledge abd practical experience here.
The railway for children was built in 1940. The 3 km road connects two terminals: the park and lesopark. The railway is very good equiped for maintenance of locomotive and carriage. The rolling stock of the children's railway includes a Diesel locomotive, railway engine and several passenger carriages, which are smaller in size then we used to see in reality.
Visiting Kharkov, take short trip to this particular railway road and for sure this place will leave you only pleasant emotions and memories.
This was one of the few hotels my colleague and I could find free rooms. We were visiting the day...more
Super Hotel, just perfekt. Best location, at the end of Franko park 5-700 m south of city center.more
My American friend Jack stayed at this new hotel for several days and he was kind enough to take me...more
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