Sunday, May 22, 2016

On the bus to Kamianets-Podilskyi + we visit a castle

The bus from Vinnystia to KP was a 3rd-world experience. I think we learned more about Ukrainians in those 3 hours than in the rest of the trip combined. They are reserved, smart, kind and civil to each other and strangers ie tourists, strong, and have kept their dignity through years of adversity.

The 25-seat bus left Vinnytsia on time with almost every seat filled. 45 minutes later we pulled into the bus station at Bar a small town. It's market day and about 20 older ladies with head scarfs, carrying bulging bags, buckets of greens, and boxes of chicks, are waiting to get on our bus. Oh my! There are only a few open seats seats. No worries. As normal for a 3rd world market day, no one is going very far. And I later see that the ladies who will get off the bus first, get on last even though it means standing in the aisles or pressed up against the bus door. Most everyone; the ticket taker, the driver, the passengers are patient and we actually pull out on time at 10:50. One of the younger women, maybe my age, makes sure that one very old lady gets the first open seat. 30 minutes later no-one is standing, the market ladies are gone, there is no sound of peeping chicks.

The bus is old but clean and in working order. The driver's seat, attendant's seat (shotgun) and engine cover are made from sturdy matching material. When a young girl traveling with her grandmother gets fussy, she is laid out, shoes off, on the engine cover to nap. When we stop in Nova Ushytsya, and I ask "Where's the toilet?" the ticket taker lets me use the bus station's private upstairs latrine. She has a key. There is no running water, but two full buckets of water for flushing sit next to the toilet. By the way the Ukrainian word for toilet is туалет.

We arrive KP at 12:30 or so. It's good to get off the bus. KP is one of those cities, like Cesky Krumluv, and Veliko Tarnovo, with an Old Town perched on a hill and surrounded by an ox-bo river, and with a castle sitting high opposite. Our first afternoon the weather was pleasant, we strolled around town, then sat on our porch, ate some take-out and watched zipliners and rock climbers in the canyon below.

The second day was raining and cold. On go the fleece jackets, rain pants, and rain jackets, and up go the umbrellas. We toured the very cool castle, and then I took a nap.

Not to mention that by chance we received a blessing from a Ukrainian Orthodox priest.

I like a seat towards the front of the bus where I can see where I am headed.
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Bus station.
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Wedding photos in the Old Town at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, which still has a minaret added by the Ottomans during their occupation of Kamianets-Podilskyi in the late 1600's.
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

The nearby Turkish Gate.
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Afternoon coffee on the terrace.
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

We were surprised to run into a Family Day um anti-abortion rally in the Old Town of Kamianets-Podilskyi. The folks at far right are holding graphic posters of aborted fetuses.
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

View of canyon towards our guesthouse - with ziplines..
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

A picture-worth-framing view of the castle. ;-)
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Walking to the castle on a rainy day.
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Some shots from inside the castle.
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

And the Ethnography Museum inside the castle.
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

The wooden church below the castle.
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

The firehouse.
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Whoops! Some water on the camera lens.
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Mural.
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Found some Ukrainian vodka in the guesthouse kitchen. Woohoo!
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

2 comments:

Kathy said...

Love the porthole photo!

I didn't get to KP, so am interested to see this. Did you think it was worth the bus ride? (Not that the ride doesn't sound interesting, lol.)

Sun-Ling said...

That's hard to say. All the KP trains either arrive or depart, or both, in the middle of night. We went to Vinnytsia and then took the buses, just to avoid that. In the end the journey itself was interesting enough, the destination became not so important. BTW, on the bus from KP to Chernivtsi there was an older French lady, and I thought to myself -- once again, us two and French ladies in the middle of tourist desert, maybe Kathy as well, haha