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Crimea Ukraine vacation

One of the great Summer vacation places in Ukraine is Crimea on the Black sea. Crimea has a Mediterranean feel to it and the view when driving can be incredible. The main tourist place in Crimea would be Yalta, as a friend put it it is the most expensive village in Ukraine. The beaches in Yalta are all pebbles for those of you who want sand you might consider the sea of Azov on the eastern coast. the sea of Azov is one of the shallowest in the world with and average of only 12 meters deep. The road from Simferopol to Yalta has some incredible views from the hill side. Ukraine has a lot to offer a traveler who is looking for an inexpensive vacation, the exchange rate is quite favorable and if you can speak a little Russian you can find a great deal on places to stay.

 

The sea theater in Crimea is worth a look, the evening show is less crowded but can be bit cool so take a jacket.The artwork done by the dolphin is bid on like an auction so if you want a souvenir take some extra Grivna.

 

akvatoria sea theater

The Swallows nest is also in Crimea on a cliff high above the Black sea. This little restaurant is quite interesting. Just a short boat ride from Yalta but be prepared to pay to walk up the stairs.

Swallows nest Crimea


Planning your first trip to Ukraine

Here is a how to guide for first timers to travel in Ukraine ( the Ukraine). to find a deal on a flight book 30 days in advance and check prices on Wednesday and Thursday as this is the day airlines post the discount prices. the best rates can be found if you avoid traveling on the weekend and Mondays. For accommodations you will want to stay in an apartment since hotels are quite pricey in most places, to book an apartment shop around the internet and try local dating agency's. You can save as much as 15 dollars a day buy shopping around. If you plan to use a credit or debit card make sure you notify your financial institution where you will be traveling so they will not shut it down. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted and to use a bankomat make sure it is part of a bank. if you take cash make sure you have new notes and they are not torn or defaced as they might refuse to accept them or only take them at a lower rate. Exchanging money is not a problem there are places all over with sign and the rate they pay. I noticed most places pay about the same rate including the airport I ,suspect the government has made some stricter rules. If you are like most first time travelers you will probably need the services of an interpreter or tour guide we have some listed on our links page. train and bus tickets are starting to appear online mostly in Russian but a few places will arrange them for you for a small fee.


A little time in Sumy

I spent a few days in Sumy one of normal stops in Ukraine. Sumy is about 5 hours from Kiev by taxi or 6 hours by bus. Taxi and bus to Sumy from the airport should be arranged in advance. Taxi is around 100 dollars and bus is as paid in local currency UAH around 30 dollars. You can get a bus from the railway station on the new side of the building. to get to the railway station the cost is about 5 dollars around 25 UAH the big bus in front of terminal A & B will take there. if it is your first trip I would recommend using one of the agency's listed on our links page, dating agency's can offer support like arranging taxi or interpreters. a few have a decent rate for apartment or you can stay at the new hotel called the Pan. Apartment in Sumy should be 45 dollars and under for a short stay cheaper for 5 or more days, the Pan hotel is around 50 dollars a night. I was enjoying some of the restaurants in this city. the first place I tried was New york street pizza, one of my normal stops.

New york street pizza

I also tried a chain restaurant called Potato house. the food was quite good serving ribs salad and of course potatoes in all forms.

Potato house Sumy Ukraine

now for my favorite place I tried called Fonconi, an Italian themed restaurant with great food and atmosphere. The service was quite good for Ukrainian standers and the food was even better. they do have menu in English and quite a selection with things like veil, lasagna, fish and of course some sweets when your finished.

Fonconi in Sumy

sweets included fresh fruit and cakes.

Fonconi food

Another place in Sumy is called Port Royal with a small micro brewery making 2 unique brews and a couple different mixes of there local brew. the food is quite good and best to visit in the summer so you can sit outside. the menu has salad, steak, veil and of course fish. the service is good and presentation is quite nice.

Dinner at Fonconi  Sumy Ukraine.


Chernobyl tours.

with a down turn in the amount of tourism in the Ukraine they are willing to try anything. the Ukrainian government legitimized the Chernobyl trips in January and are upgrading plans to attract more takers for the trips during the 2012 European football championships to be held in the Ukraine. The country's emergency situations ministry claims radiation levels around the dead zone are now returning to normal. Approaches are to be made to major tour operators with the aim of attracting Western tourists. However, visitors to Chernobyl and Pripyat will be forced to sign disclaimers exempting tour operators from any responsibility for radiation-induced health problems. Some tour operators are now offering tours for those brave souls who would like to visit the ghost town and get a peek at the reactors or whats left of them. for years there were unofficial tours for those willing.


Mail order bride part 4

So now you have found a perspective partner here is what you need to know. first you start from the beginning when you meet in person, there is no possible way to know if you have chemistry from letter writing or phone calls.

Kiev main squareKyiv Ukraine

First thing you will notice when you step off the plane is things are a little different, sure most people no matter where there from want the same thing love security and a place to call home. if you are observant you will notice people dress a little nicer in most country's. not many will wear blue jeans and T shirts. of you are looking in an FSU country you will notice not only the women dress there best but the men dress a little better also. best advice is to dress nice and you might consider wearing a suit to meet your perspective bride. where you go for a date isn't as important as being honest, not only with her but yourself also.


Topless protesters in Ukraine

A woman's organization in Ukraine called Femen often protests topless in an effort to have there message heard. The movement is mostly university students who want to help make Ukraine a better place, there methods might be a little different but they know how to draw a crowd. These young women will protest a wide range of social and economic issues that matter to the common citizen. one of the latest protests is about the debt in Ukraine. one young lady dressed as a topless beggar asking for money to help save Ukraine.

national debt protest

Other protests and demonstrations highlight the sex trade, including sex tourism and sex for grades in the education system. Some might think there methods are quite revealing but most agree with there message. One of the reoccurring themes of there protests is the brothels and sex tourism.

femen and sex tourism

Ukraine is well known for having some of the most beautiful women in the world so its not surprising these women can draw a crowd. These young women will protest at any event that they can gain access even a fashion show. As far as I know the protests are held mainly in Kiev the capital of Ukraine. Not even cold and snow can keep the clothes on these young lady's.

fashion show protest


Cell phone for Ukraine

seasoned travelers know how important it is to have a local number where ever you travel, you might also want to use your normal number for emergency purposes. I have used a few different company's over the years including Verizon,T mobile and my current AT&T. if you have a cell phone with GSM technology you will be able to receive call from home at a price. Verizon does not use CDMA technology but will offer a European plan for customers I have not had any experience with this plan but it will require the phone to be modified. T mobile and AT&T both use GSM technology so a quad band phone is all that is required. I also have what I call a chi phone I ordered from ebay, it resembles an Iphone but is far from the real thing. the chi phones have dual sim and 16 gig micro cards. I use this with a local sim card so I can call much cheaper than with my cell phone. the chi phone seems to have better signal strength than my real Iphone. Of course you can also purchase a data package for when you travel for when Wi Fi is not available. The data package comes in handy when you want to use your translation software and no Wi Fi is available. If you want a cell phone for Ukraine I would suggest buying a phone from ebay, just make sure it is an unlocked quad band cell phone. You can always purchase a cell phone for around 100 dollars when you arrive in Ukraine. there are quite a few different models to choose from in local shops. The most popular are the small candy bar phones but they also have just about anything you could want in a smart phone. After you ave decided what phone to buy all you need to do is purchase a sim card when you land, most will come with a few minutes included but you can purchase more minutes. To buy minutes for your phone you have a couple options. you can buy some minutes when you purchase your sim card, vendors on the street or use a kiosk that looks almost like an ATM machine but will have multiple language and symbol from all the local carriers. If you have a person or contact you will be calling ask what company they are with, you can save them and yourself some money buy using the same company.


Euro 2012

As Ukraine prepares for the Euro 2012 football tournament they are adding runways terminals and new hotels in every host city. Pre ticket sales have begun online and the stadiums are busy with construction. 9 new hotels will be built in Kiev for the Euro 2012 tournament. Runways have received work in Lvov and roadways will soon be busy with construction around all the city's hosting the tournament. Nato will help prepare and run security for the tournaments held in Ukraine and Poland. Tickets for the event in Kharkov will serve as travel documents. Even the police in Kiev are being given lessons in basic English to help visitors for the event. I just hope they don't try to get to many bribes and give Ukraine a bad reputation.

football stadium Kiev Ukraine

This tournament should give tourism a much needed boost in Ukraine.

Registration of volunteers for Euro 2012 starts in Kyiv

The registration of volunteers for the Euro 2012 European Football Championship, which Ukraine will host, started in Kyiv on March 3.

The official presentations of the Web site of the host city Kyiv dedicated to the tournament and a program for training volunteers took place in Kyiv on Thursday.

Volunteers can register as candidates for Kyiv volunteers on this Web site. The candidates must be aged 18 and older, have no criminal records, and have a basic knowledge of English (German, French or other languages).

Under the Kyiv Volunteer Program, some 6,000 volunteers will be involved in the work during the Euro 2012 in Kyiv. They will be selected beforehand and undergo a 100-hour training course.


Ukraine ski resorts

Bukovel

Bukovel ski resort is a new large ski resort in Ivano-Frankivsk oblast 30 km to the west of Yaremcha. Bukovel has major plans for expansion; supposedly by the 2009-2010 season it plans to have 278 km of runs and 35  lifts, which would make it one of the 20 largest ski resorts in the world. Currently, There are 14 lifts and 50 km of runs. Bukovels base elevation is nearly 900 m above sea level, and the highest ski lift rises to 1370. the view from some of the lifts is incredible. There are plenty of places to warm up and have a little something to eat or drink.

Bukovel ski run

Crimea - Angarskyy Pass (Chatyr-Dag)

Angarskyy Pass (Chatyr-Dag) - 3 tows 300 - 650 m in length, 700 - 800 m elevation; accessible by bus from Simferopol or Yalta.


Dragobrat

Drahobrat is located 18 km away from Yasenya, 120 km from Ivano-Frankivsk. Drahobrat (commonly spelled "Dragobrat") is Ukraines highest ski resort, with a base elevation at 1300 m. Drahobrat is the first ski resort to open its lifts and the last to turn them off — usually around May 1st. At Drahobrat you can enjoy up to 350 m of elevation drop. Five or six tow lifts from 350 to 1000 m in length reach up the mountainside as far as the summit of Stig mountain at 1703 m. The skiing is as wild as it gets in Ukraine.

Izki

Izki is ski area 18 km to the south of the Volovets train station, which is on the Kiev-Uzhhorod train line. There is a chair (950 n) and tow (950 n) lifts.

Krasia

Krasiya is one of Ukraine"s least known ski resorts, but actually is among the most developed. The mountain that the ski runs are on rises to 1036 m and faces the northeast - which makes for good snow quality. There are six lifts - one chair lift and five tow lifts - and runs of up to 2500 m, which is quite long for Ukrainian resorts. Supposedly there is a half-pipe for snowboarders.

Menchil

Menchil mt. located near Slavske, Grabovets and Pshonets, Skole district, Lviv region. Number of lifts - 2, Varshava (1175 m) and Grabovets (850 m).

Mizhgirya

Mizhgirya is located about 35 km to the southeast of Volovets, which has a train station on the Kiev-Uzhhorod line. The mountain is called Makovytsia and rises to over 750 m, which is 300 m above the valley floor. There is a chair lift to the top of the mountain and several different routes down that are up to 2300 m in length.

Myhove

Mountain-ski and tourist complex «Myhove» is located in the Village Myhove, region of Chernivtsi, at altitude of 740 m over the sea level, in the heart of Prykarpattya. 1st route length of 1100 m, width of 50 m; 2nd route length of 1240 m width of 45 m. The difference of altitudes of 250 m. The flat route for beginners and children the multielevator of 200 m and the ski school."


Bukovel accommodations.

We took a train to Ivano-Frankivsk Ukraine were we found a taxi driver who took us to Pruvamna Caduba hotel.  They were full but arranged for us to stay at a new place with rooms for rent. The price was 150 grivna per person and included 2 meals a day. For around 25 dollars you can have ski rental for your entire stay. The hotel is located in Uremche Ukraine about 17 kilometers from Bukovel. The city is quite beautiful with lights hung and a welcome sign as you enter. Mini bus to Bukovel is around 7 grivna or if you ask at the hotel you can ride free with a local tour group. The food was quite good with a 3 or 4 course meal every day, consisting of Ukrainian food soup, salads, meat, fruit and vegetables. local shop

Uremche is located between 2 small mountain ranges in the Carpathian mountains with a river dividing the city. You can do most things you would expect from a tourist city including excursions and massage. Looking out my window at the mountains in the morning was breathtaking. It snowed off and on depending on where you are, literally you can go 50 meters and it is snowing. You can find small shops with souvenirs made from local craftsmen wearing traditional costumes from days gone by. There was a down side to the whole trip most only spoke Russian. If you stay at Bukovel they do have English speaking staff.

Uremche hotel