Oh yea, Oh Yea, Oh Yea, Gimme some Lviving as the great Stevie Winwood once said. After the dullness of Krakow we are in a city that is totally alive, this is like Berlin before the wall fell and as long as Ryanair or Easyjet keep away then hopefully it will remain so. This city is full of art, everywhere, on the streets, in their food and even in their coffee. And it is all so natural. O.K., so most of the men wear vests and model their every move, hair-cut, dress and mannerisms on Ray Winstone. The only video on sale here is Kinky Beasts and it is on a permanent loop in every male-dominated arena. But hey, we are in a country at war, and it shows. No running off to Germany like some other Middle East nations, these boys are staying to fight and they look determined.
The Journey There
As we didn’t have Insurance to enter Ukraine we had to go through a rather bizarre way of entering the country. Firstly, you have to pick the correct border crossing and at the time of writing and until the motorway in Poland reaches the border it is the crossing at Medyka/Shegyni. Once there just park up and head across the border by foot, it is a footpath to the left of the road Border Crossing Once in Ukraine, which is like entering somewhere like Somalia then aim for the hut on the left marked PZU. Here you give than man about €4 and he will you give you a document in Russian that is probably meaningless but will hopefully keep you out of jail in an accident. You will need to use your best charades skills as nobody in this town speaks a word of English. Next you go back across the border to Poland, get in your motorhome and drive across. I am not going to go into the process here of what is involved except for the fact they do not see many British people and they want to have a nose. They are not corrupt or demand anything, they are very friendly, just curious, fun. You could take a risk and drive across before getting your insurance documents as they only check proof of ownership, must be original. This will save you about an hour but you take the risk of having an accident while you are getting the necessary.
And here is a video of how to enter Ukraine. Click Here
Ukraine is different as soon as you cross the border, gone is the Eurobland that Krakow is trying hard to become and hello Mrs Individuality. From minute one it has curorosity and a sense of differentness. A couple of examples.
Town House Ukraine Style
Shiny Happy Church People
Now Parked up we headed across the road to the local ‘Harvester’, Ukraine style. Only 4×4’s with darkened windows are allowed in the car park and only Ray Winstone look-a-likes are allowed in to dine, and us of course. First thing to notice is the pond in the middle of the restaurant populated with Trout. There are fishing rods freely available for you to hook one out. The deal is; if you catch one then they will cook it for free. Reality is; one of the surgically enhanced gangster molls falls off her 6″ heels into the pond while the rest of the place cheers and knocks back another Vodka. This is true.
We had a great evening with three courses, Sparking Wine and coffee for just a little under £12. Yep 12 of your finest English Pounds.
Next day we toured around this compact but vibrant city and started with coffee, here it comes with a shot of spirit.
And the coffee was so good we bought heaps to take away.
Coffee House Lviv Style
Next we did the obligatory walk around ancient monuments, street markets and other ‘must see things’.
Lviv Latin Church
Books for Sale
We ended up at a flea market where they had everything on display from the sublime to the ridiculous, from Nazi memorabilia to a Yak’s foot and all sorts of crap in between. But one thing is for sure they do not like ‘Gay Boy’ Putin or his love-mummy Mrs Merkel. Here are a couple of examples.
Putin is an Arse Wipe
It’s all Junk
Before heading into one of Lviv’s art house restaurant’s we took in the rest of the sights this bonkers place had to offer.
We splashed out another fiver each to have lunch in Lviv’s top restaurant and this one was just a tad crazier than the previous one. It did not have a swimming pool full of wrecked bimbos but it did have a place six storey’s high serving great food by dwarves. But firstly you have to bribe the ‘chimney sweep’ to gain entrance in this mad house. Next you semi-crawl up flights of stairs until you can find a table. We settled for the Library. Food again was delicious and for a bill of under £10 we were delighted. After eating you can explore the roof garden for some of the best views of Lviv, Tracy insisted in going one better and climbed up a chimney Pot, so bizarre, so Tracy.
Our Dining Room
Lviv from above
What a great place. This is what Krakow should aspire to not somewhere dull like Frankfurt or Paris. Get here quick people before they join the EU and turn it into something dreadful. Without doubt the best city of our tour, and we though Budapest would not be bettered.
The Journey Back
A small drawback to visiting Ukraine is getting through customs on the way out. Because you can buy a bottle of Vodka for £2 and 20 fags for 66 pence, yep pence not pounds you sad smoking Brits, the miseries on the EU border at Poland take a very dim view of smuggling. This results in a couple of consequences; light aircraft smuggling cigs frequently fly into houses whist trying to avoid radar and secondly absurdly long waits to cross the border. This has now been exacerbated by Mrs Merkel offering free money to anybody from outside Europe.
They only process 30 vehicles an hour through the checkpoint, a checkpoint where you are searched 5 times. A search so thorough they found nothing of our 16,000 fags and 2 cases of Vodka disguised as a shrine to the Virgin Mary laid out on the bed for all to see. Honesty is always the best way.
But not quite. Watch the video to see how we just ignored the queues at the border and sailed through in a little under 3 hours. Some people at the back of the queue may still be there.
So now you know how to get in and out. Get here quick before it gets ruined. You will Love it.
Love to all