Let’s visit… Ukraine

For the new reader- this is my Friday day-off adventure. I take an old world map, and with my eyes closed, throw a dart at it. There where it pegs, I go on a virtual tour. I read some blogs about the place, if I can find any.  I read a bit on the Internet about the place. And then I write a fantasy journey to the place. Usually with a photo of the local beer- if it is any good… I will have a huge problem with Australia one day… 🙂  I also put up a picture of a local girl. No- Christian friends, not out of lust- in admiration of beauty…  And to show how the people there look iike. Why not a man? Because I want to put up a photo of a girl. Because I can…

Today is a challenge for me!  The Ukraine is totally foreign to me. Never been there. And if I google it, the first few sites show me potential brides. They are beautiful! But I think my wife will have something to say about it if I order one…

The Ukrainian Flag: images (14)

An interesting fact- for me, is that Ukraine is in Europe! I would really argue hard that it was in Asia if a friend told me that around tonight’s barbeque fire…  It is the largest country that is entirely in Europe- would Turkey be larger?

Image

The fascinating history of the Ukraine you can read at Wikipedia, today is not about history, but about travel.  Just want to say that they became independent from the U.S.S.R in 1991,  after the fall of the Berlin wall.

Kiev is the Capital and the largest city, and where you will be landing if you do not travel there the decent way- on a motorbike RTW trip…

Sevastopol is a major harbour on the Black Sea, where a huge part of the Russian Navy was based in the good old commie days.   The Russians still lease this harbour from the Ukraine- probably for quite a few roubles…  But other tourists are also welcome these days:

www.happytour.in.ua

sebastopol harbour- http://www.happytour.in.ua

The Ukraine has the second largest army in Europe, after Russia… so don’t go messing with them. Drink their beer, chat with their girls, but don’t  be aggressive, somebody could get hurt…

The country’s geography: Mostly steppes (grasslands) and plateaus. Rivers like the Dnieper, Seversky Donets (No, not doughnuts, American friends…), Dniester and the Southern Buh crosses the land, and flow into the Black Sea. The Ukraine has a coastline of 2782 km on the Black Sea.

The only mountains are the Carpathian Mountains in the west with Hova Hoverla at 2061 m the highest peak, and the Crimean Mountains in the South…  Somewhere there the British and the RUssians had a little misunderstanding. The Light Brigade charged, and not all returned home- ours is to do and die…  In this war, some German fellow joined the British Army, and before he could reach the Crimean War, the War has ended. So the army gave him an honorable discharge, but Germany refused to take him back- no mercenary’s would be welcome in the Fatherland. So the English put him on a ship, and sent him to the Eastern Cape in South Africa, and gave him a small farm.  How do I know that? It was my first ancestor in South Africa in the 1860’s…  He did not reach the Ukraine… Maybe I will- with peaceful intent…

Wikipedia states that the road network has not been updated since the Soviet era. In other words- BAD roads… Use a dual purpose bike…  The trains is heavily used. Not so much potholes on the rails, I suppose…

The Ukraine receive the 8th highest amount of  visitors in Europe yearly.

In the Carpathian mountains you can ski in winter (not a Sport we South Africans excel in, maye because we never see snow…) The fishing is good, hiking and hunting goes on. Just don’t shoot the hikers.

Ukrainian wine

visittoukraine.com

The Black Sea beaches are popular summer vacation spots.  There are lots of ancient Castles and Cathedrals to see.  And the Ukraine has some vineyards, where they produce wines- I have never tasted any so I can’t judge if they are any good. An Ukrainian reader is welcome to send me a bottle…

The Ukraine is a good sporting nation.

I remember seeing their flag quite a lot in the Olympic Games. (96 medals in 4 Olympic games since 1994, their first Olympics as an independent nation).  I loved watching their gymnasts in action, but they are also excellent in athletics and swimming. Their most favourite sport is football (soccer)

Image

beautypageantnews.com

But how do their girls look like? The Ukrainian Brides are beautiful. But I guess most Ukrainian women would take exception to being compared to that industry.

This is Miss Ukraine 2013, Anna Zayachkivska,

Do the Ukraine have any good beer?

Here is an excellent site on the beers and pubs of the Ukraine

Look out for Obolon beer: Image

What more to see in Ukraine? I would not want to miss “The Tunnel of Love” in Rivne, OblastImage

 Of Course there is wonderful motorcycle journeys to be made in the Ukraine!

 

And one place to rather not visit, is the Chernobyl exclusion site- it is now 25 years since the famous big bang in the nuclear reactor plant.  If you visit, your grandchildren may or may not have four eyes…

How about a hot air balloon flight over KievImage

 What is Ukraine’s favourite dish? I heard in a lot of Hollywood movies how they joke about it- it is Borsch. Image It is a vegetable soup that may or may not have meat in it. Here is the recipe from this photo. 

On this blog you can see more of Ukraine’s favourite traditional dishes.

Lonely Planet’s top 17 travel tips for the Ukraine: 

A final word of warning: If you see this guy or his brother in a bar, don’t spill their beer, and don’t mess with their girls/wife.  The name Klitschko does mean a world of pain in the boxing circles…

Vitali Klitschko

Vitali Klitschko

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14 thoughts on “Let’s visit… Ukraine

  1. Hi Rider.
    I enjoyed this a lot. Chernobyl is now a bit of a tourist attraction. Because there had been no human interaction for 25 years or so the local flora and fauna have flourished so there are quite a few tours going into and out of the area. Next time you are virtually passing, pop in for a look.

  2. I hope I did the Ukraine some justice in this blog, Except for that little Chernobyl mishap, I would love to visit this country! If you are Ukrainian, or have been there, what should a tourist not miss there?

    • Thanks Rider, it is very interesting. I took one year off in my life to learn and watch from my relaxer where each country in the world is. A more general overview though…. I don’t know about their love tunnels, beer, wars etc. I really enjoyed this trip with you.

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