Lviv Trip Part 2

Day 2 of our trip was jammed packed full of fun!  It started with a buffet breakfast at our hotel.  I must say that the hotel we stayed in was phenomenal and exceeded expectations.  It was centrally located, had a buffet breakfast with eggs to order, a great bar, and heated toilet seats.  Ladies and gents, if you have not experienced heated toilet seats, it is something that I highly recommend if given the opportunity:)

The concierge had given us a map of the area and circled various items of interest for us to explore when we checked in the day before.   We decided to go to High Castle, which is actually ruins of a castle on top of a hill with a fantastic view of the city of Lviv.  We took an Uber there, as it was quite a walk from the hotel.  The Uber was super cheap (I think less than $3 USD) so we were fine with that.  We ended up doing a lot of walking around the hill to get to the top of High Castle, so we did get our exercise in that way.

Our next stop was Pototski Palace, which we randomly saw on a magnet in one of the souvenir stands on High Castle.  Yep, we saw a picture of a palace that was in Lviv and said, “let’s go here.”  So we did.  Pototski Palace was well kept and had a ton of beautiful artwork for us to enjoy.  For an entrance fee of less than $4 USD per person, it was well worth the time and money to visit.

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After a busy morning hiking up the hill and exploring a palace, we worked up an appetite.  Lucky for us, I noticed on the map that the concierge gave us that there was an Asian food festival going on at one of the local parks that afternoon, so we walked there to check it out.  In addition to Asian food, there was barbeque, local vendors selling crafts and honey, and archery.

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Once we had our share of bites, beverages, and ice cream, we headed to the Lviv Opera House.  We paid less than $4 USD for a self-guided tour, and were so impressed that we decided to come back a couple of hours later to see a performance.  We ended up seeing the opera Don Pasquale.

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After the performance we went to a Mexican restaurant for tacos and margaritas.  We walked back enjoying the town lit up at night.  The next day we headed back to Kyiv on the express train.  All in all, it was a wonderful holiday in a beautiful city.  I would definitely come back to Lviv again!

Lviv Trip Part 1

Recently my husband and I went on a short holiday to Lviv, Ukraine.  Located west of Kyiv about 431 km (268 miles) from the Polish border, Lviv was on my bucket list of places to travel while posted here in Ukraine.  The architecture and ambiance had been described and shown in pictures as a dreamy romantic getaway city, and it did not disappoint.

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The fact that we could travel there by train, car, or plane left us with several options.  I had heard good things about the express train to Lviv, so we decided to take that route.  The time it took to travel from Kyiv to Lviv was a little over five hours.  The train ride was air conditioned, with WiFi, and there were snacks and beverages available for purchase.

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When we arrived in Lviv, there was overwhelming commotion – construction (and lots of nonstop construction noise), endless tour buses, cars, and tourists in and around the station.

Train Station

Needless to say, the ambiance was not what I expected at first.  Once we got in our Uber and entered the Opera and Rynok Square areas about 15 or 20 minutes away from the train station, I saw exactly what I envisioned.  We arrived at our hotel around noon, and luckily they allowed us to check in early.  Our hotel was located fairly close to Rynok Square and the Opera House, which allowed for us to walk pretty much anywhere we wanted to go.  So, we dropped our bags off, freshened up, and headed out to explore the cobblestone streets of Lviv.

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Our first stop was Rynok Square.  We were hungry, and it was lunchtime, so we wandered around until we found Baczewski Restaurant, which had outstanding Pierogis and beer.  We sat outside and people watched during our meal.

Afterwards, we explored more of the square, with its many stores and vendors.  We popped into Lviv Chocolates for a sweet treat and then walked around some more, buying some souvenirs.

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While exploring the square, a restaurant that caught my interest was one that I called the sword and the stone restaurant.  From the pictures below, you can see why I gave it that name:

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One thing I noticed were the many lion symbols throughout the city.  This is due to the fact that Lviv is translated to English as Leo’s lands or Leo’s City.

IMG_0721After a long day of travel and walking around, we called it a night and went back to the hotel, gearing up for a fun second day in Lviv!  Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Lviv holiday..

The Time Between Packout and Post..

As if the packout wasn’t tiring enough, I spent the following week on the go with a jam packed schedule..

First stop, Savannah,Georgia. Savannah has been on my bucket list for quite some time and it lived up to and even exceeded my expectations. The drive was not bad- around 6 hours or so. The city was quaint, charming, and full of cute restaurants and shops. I couldn’t go to the south and NOT have shrimp and grits, so that was my dinner.

It was everything I could have hoped for and wish I could have stayed there for a few more days at least! I hope to go back during home leave to spend more time in this charming city!!

From Savannah I drove about 10 hours to D.C. It was a loooong day and wish I could have planned better to break it into two days, but hindsight is 20/20 as they say.

I had one day to run some errands in D.C., then my husband and I went to up north for his brother’s wedding. It was a quick 48 hours and about 4.5-5 hours drive each way, but hey, at least I didn’t have to drive!!

My husband had two more days of training before we left, so I ran errands and checked things off my list of to-dos. Then, we were off for 24 hours in Paris!!

We ended up with three checked bags each in addition to our carryons. The red eye flight was uneventful. I attempted to sleep during some of the flight, but alas I did not get more than an hour of sleep. I think I was too excited for our day in the city of lights…

I traveled to Paris about 10.5 years ago with one of my best friends, and it was just as great coming back this time with my love. We were tired and jet lagged, but we did a lot of walking and eating in those 24 hours that we were there!! We had crepes, croissants, soufflés, sandwiches on baguettes, escargot, and great wine. What more can you ask for?

We needed that extra day to decompress and somewhat adjust to jet lag, and of course Paris is such a beautiful and wonderful city to be in, so why not?? Paris is another city I definitely hope to travel to again- for more than 24 hours next time!!!