Ever since mid 2017 when I saw that Ryanair was going to start flying to Ukraine, I decided that it was somewhere that I wanted to go and visit.
I booked it for December 2017 and as the time got closer, Ryanair decided that they weren’t going to fly to Kiev anymore and I had to cancel my flight.
Ukraine was still at the back of my mind and I finally decided for my 40th that I would go to Ukraine. I decided on Lviv – not sure why I didn’t choose Kiev again but Lviv won over.
I decided that I would try and peer pressure Jason into coming along with me and it took all of about 24 hours for him to cave. What can I say – he OBVIOUSLY loves my company. I was also telling Duncan about it and Jason and I managed to talk him into coming along with us too.
They both did say that they would stick to me the whole time we were there. Keeping 3 people alive for a week is not as easy as it sounds! I think for one of the days it was them keeping me alive (more about this below).
I let Jason chose from a couple of hostels that I found and I must say that he made a good choice. The hostel was one of the better ones i’ve stayed in. It was the most expensive one at £5 a night. Win win all round.
It finally came time to leave for Lviv and it was a stupidly early morning. I was up at 4 am and in the car by 5am to be at the airport for about 6:30 for a spot of breakfast before we flew.
The take off from Stansted was truly awful. I didn’t manage to nab the window seat – thanks Duncan! The take off and climb was windy and turbulent and not for me at all. I had imprints from the seat in front where I held on for dear life. Jason and Duncan both said that I should be used to it with the amount I have flown. Jason did also say to Duncan that it wasn’t my favourite part of flying.
The flight itself, once we were at cruising altitude, was pretty uneventful and a nice landing in Lviv.
I’ll write about each full day that we had here and what we did.
Once we were dropped off near the hostel, we had to follow the drivers directions of right then right to find out. A downloaded, offline map comes in handy in these situations.
We got in to the hostel and I looked at my watch and it said it was about 11:55 and check in wasn’t until 14:00. I though we were gonna have to wait ages – until I realised it was almost 14:00 as the time is 2 hours ahead of GMT. Thank goodness for that.
Once we were settled in, we set off in search of food as we were hungry. The consensus was for pizza and we found a pizza place to eat. The pizza was not only delicious, but huge and cheap too. A 19 inch pizza and 3 bottles of drink for about a tenner. Win for us.
After food, we had a wander round the old town and took in what it had to offer and to also see if we could scout out some more places to see when we were here.
After we were done here, we headed back to the hostel for a rest. Those guys rested and I went out again for an hour or so just wandering around. I came back about 9 and lay in bed but I was really restless and decided to go out again about 22:30 for a couple of hours and about a 2 mile walk to clear my head.
The trip wasn’t going how I thought it would – even though I had no idea of what to expect.
I came back and then headed straight to bed to get some sleep to see if I could get rid of my restlessness and fuzzy head.
Here are a few pictures from today. Notice the size of the pizza too. Jason put his hand in so you could see how big the pizza really was.
We noticed that Lviv wasn’t that big of a city and there wasn’t a lot to do. The videos that Jason and I watched seemed to be all hyped up and made Lviv out to be more than it was.
Jamie sent me a few links of stuff to do in the city. I had a slight breakdown the day before (blame it on tiredness) and this is why she so kindly helped out.
I woke up with a headache and severe hunger. I was desperate to get some food that it may have come across as me being moody – it was purely hunger at this point. I went and had a croissant and then headed back to the hostel to pick the other 2 up so we could go out.
We decided to do the tower and what a climb that was. I think Jason said it was nearly 400 stairs up. My left over pent up anger powered me on up the stairs. Haha. The views from the tower were pretty spectacular though and it was totally worth it.
The stairs start off quite narrow and then get steep and then a narrow spiral staircase at the top. I think it cost about 50UAH (roughly £1.50) to get in.
I can’t do the views justice so I will just post the pictures below.
Once we got down from the tower (me faster than Duncan and Jason I might add), we decided to go and find some food. As we were on the hunt, it started to snow. It was pretty awesome. I love the snow and so does Jason so we were both glad it did snow. Once we realised that we didn’t find anything where we were looking, it was suggested Carbonara might be good since Jason had mentioned it the day before. We headed back to where we had a massive pizza and ordered food. It was quite good I found – Jason not so much as he’s not a fan of pasta on its own (he ate the good stuff first you see).
Below are some pictures of the snow and pasta.
We decided that after we were done here we would go back and have a bit of a rest. I needed it to just chill out and get over my tiredness and mood. I woke up refreshed and ready for more sightseeing.
Jason did some more looking and decided that we should go to the Arsenal museum (it cost 50UAH to get in here too) and then I decided we should check out the church across the street and then we decided on another church on the way back to the hostel. I think Jason has been in more churches with me in a couple of months than in his 21 years of life. I take that as a great accomplishment! LOL.
We then decided on hot chocolate before heading back for another rest before dinner at the Pravda Beer Theatre. The food there wasn’t too bad. I had the chicken and it was quite nice. After dinner, we had another rest before heading out for ice cream to end the day.
Below are some pictures from the museum and the churches.
Our second full day started off with me choosing to go to the cemetery. We first went for some breakfast at a place Jason found the day before. The breakfast was really nice and also really cheap – along with most everything here.
I had done a little bit of reading about this and this was the biggest one in Lviv. It houses almost 400,000 graves and includes famous people from Lviv and also a couple of war graves sections.
I enjoy going to the cemeteries in places I visit as it is a good way to see how the city/country take care of the living. If they provide good and well maintained burial plots, they generally look after the living. I also like it as I like to see how different they are from country to country and the ornateness of them differs so much and it is something for the eye to behold.
Jason wasn’t so much a fan of the walk to the cemetery – roughly 1.25 miles there and the same back. I enjoyed the walk albeit a bit cold! I took in all of my surroundings on the walk and also the surroundings of the cemetery. This cost 50UAh to get in to.
As we got to the war graves section, it was good to philosophise with Jason and get his viewpoint. Seeing 15 year old boys buried, I told him I could see why he has no beliefs and that is something I respect about him. He’s not afraid of being a non-believer and is respectful of what I believe. Very refreshing that we can have that kind of conversation without bashing each other for what each believes/does not believe in.
Below are some pictures from the cemetery.
After we were done here, we decided to head back to the hostel for a bit of a rest (I know, can you see the pattern. Haha). Whilst the other two were chilling, I went for a wander for about 90 minutes and visited the Latin Church and the Armenian Church. They were even more ornate than the last ones we were in.
Below are some pictures from the churches.
After I was done, I went back to collect the weary so we could go grab some dinner. We went back to the Pravda Beer Theatre and then Duncan and I headed out for a walk before going to pick up Jason so we could go grab some ice cream. The walk was good, but the ice cream was not. I got a really bad stomach and felt so ill afterwards. I told them I needed to get some water and head back to the hostel. As we were walking to find a shop I started to heave. I have never seen Jason move so fast. It would appear he is not a fan of heaving or actual barfing. I rushed back to the hostel as I was feeling really unwell.
I got up several times in the night and was sick each time. What a great start to my actual birthday day. I also developed a fever – yay for me!
Happy Birthday to Me.
This was not one of the better birthdays i’ve had – illness wise that is. I loved not being in the UK for my birthday.
I was still running a fever and had a bad stomach. The feeling of wanting to puke had passed thankfully, but the others hadn’t.
I messaged Jason (I know, he was in the bed across from me so I could have just talked to him) to tell him that I was still ill and that he and Duncan should go and get breakfast and pleaded with him to check up on me after breakfast.
Once they were back I decided to shower and go find some food. I though a croissant would be the easiest as it was bland. I managed to eat about a third of it and even that took a while. Sorry for wasting your money Jason. Forgive me? I had to head back to the hostel to go back to sleep as I was feeling really rubbish again.
I think the others went out again and I said for them to come back and I would see how I felt for lunch/dinner. I said we should go to a place Duncan & I walked past as Jason was still after a hot dog. I went with them and I fell asleep at the table. Jason assured me he was trying to talk to me and I didn’t respond. I told them I had to come back to the hostel to sleep and to wake me up once they got back.
We ended the trip by going for ice cream and sprite. Probably not best to eat and drink cold food sitting in the cold. The breeze felt lovely though. Once we finished we headed back to the hostel so I could go and get some more sleep.
As birthdays go, it wasn’t the worst – nor was it the best. I was still glad I was out of the UK though. At least I had people to look after me too so I wasn’t suffering alone.
No pictures from today as I was not feeling it at all
It came time to check out and get ready to head to the airport. Of course, I would be feeling much better than the previous day.
We had our transfer booked and waiting for us. We were at the airport nice and early ready for our flight and in a fashion unlike Ryanair, we boarded early and left on time.
This take off was way better than coming from Stansted. The turbulence mid flight was not good and it was a windy and bumpy landing. I had seat imprints again and Jason found this quite amusing to the point of laughing at me. He knows how much I hate it too! So cheeky.
I had the last laugh though since I got through UK immigration straight away and he had to go to another queue. Ha!
All in all though, it was a great trip and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It made me realise how good I have it here in the UK and I shouldn’t moan about it.
You can view all of the Lviv pictures here