Tag Archives: Ukraine

Communist Cruise

Communist Cruise

Given that air travel is the most expensive part of this trip, we try to avoid it as much as possible. Also, we are always on the look out for adventure so we decided to take a ferry to get from Odessa, Ukraine to Georgia. It’s a working ferry: mostly carrying various imports, livestock and vehicles. There is room for some passengers who are mostly truck drivers traveling with their vehicles to Georgia. Clearly, we had to try to get on the boat and experience it for ourselves. Getting on it was an adventure in itself, which Aaron wrote about is his post here.

Check-in
We had to get on the ship the day before we actually sail, which was rather disappointing to us as we spent the 4th of July on the boat docked in Illichivsk port. The tedious process of passing through customs was done in the “hurry up and wait” fashion as we were lead from one boring room to another:
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UKR Ferry Ticket Gauntlet

UKR Ferry Ticket Gauntlet

One of the things we wanted to try on this trip is traveling by ferry. Based on our itinerary, we had a couple good options – either from Iceland to Scotland or somewhere on the Black Sea. We didn’t have any luck on the Northern Atlantic, so the Black Sea it was.

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Forget your stereotypes – Ukraine

Forget your stereotypes – Ukraine

Did you know that I am half Ukrainian? My mother’s family comes from Ukraine so I was happy to travel to her motherland and see this hidden country. This country is overshadowed by the massive neighbor (Russia) and is often forgotten by travelers traveling in Eastern Europe, which is a mistake. Though Ukraine may look, smell and often feel like Russia, it is has a ton to offer such as beautiful churches of Kiev, cobble stone streets lining European L’viv and laid-back mentality of Odessa. Those are the three cities we visited.

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Traveling to Lviv Ukraine

Traveling to Lviv Ukraine

Our initial research on traveling over land to Lviv showed that it could be quite challenging. While the distance from Krakow to Lviv is only a little over 200 km, it takes a bit of time to get there by land. The border crossing is notorious for being slow due to smugglers.

From Krakow, we opted to take a train to the border town of Przemyśl. From there we would take a bus across the border and on to Lviv.

Train

We arrived at Krakow’s Central Station around 9 am, just missing a train to Przemyśl. There wasn’t much information around, so we found a ticket kiosk and purchased a ticket for the next train, which left just before 11 am. We were surprised to find the train quite empty and ended up sharing a cabin with an older woman.

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