Roman Malanke

Piece of Europe in Ukraine

Having jumped into a workweek immediately on arrival from Lviv I didn’t have time to make a record of the wonderful time my friends and I had there. It’s better late than never though, so here it is.

To put the story short, everything was just perfect and I got reassured in my opinion that if all Ukraine could become like Lviv we would proudly call our land Europe, not only geographically but also mentally and spiritually.

Positive impressions began just when we located our rented apartment. Half-blindly picked and booked over the Internet for less than modest price, it ended up to be roomy, tidy and situated in the old town, right in front of Potocki Palace (major tourist attraction). What a pleasure it was to come back home every evening to a place like that.

Then there was food, lots and lots of food. Local cafes and restaurants with their delicious cuisine, excellent service and cozy thematic interiors can actually lead one to obesity given that the average check is less than $10. I definitely gained a couple of kilos there.

The primary purpose of our visit — rock-festival “Stare Misto” — also was above any expectations. The way everything was organized reminded me of Radiohead’s show in Prague — enough room for the audience, no jams on entrance and exits, friendly security personnel and, of course, high quality sound, all for $10 ticket. A special surprise to me was the song with which Okean Elzy started their performance. It was their oldest song “Tam, de nas nema”, the one with which they became popular back in 1998. As I had never been to their concert before I found it very symbolic.

The only thing that came as a small disappointment was attending local salsa club. In that regard we are obviously pampered by the abundance of schools and parties in Kyiv, so what we saw in “Havana” club there didn’t impress us at all and even seemed a bit vulgar.

Some other things that I will remember from this trip were the huge double rainbow we saw at the central square one day and amazing pauper poet, who for twenty minutes was entertaining us with his impromptu verses in the park.

The four days passed very quickly and it was kind of sad to board the train back home, but thought that overnight ride can bring us back any time we want raised our spirit. Anyway, now at least I have the tradition of visiting Lviv every year in May.