I’ve been snapping iPhone pics at a pretty steady rate, so I’d better throw a few up here while taking them is still recent memory. Captions below the picture!
One of my main goals in Lviv is to see at least one opera, preferably more, in this magnificent theater. I think Aida is coming at the end of October. . ..
Lviv seems to be the host of a revival in Ukrainian language publishing and bookselling, ranging from serious scholarly works to serial fantasies with incredible, over-the top covers. Here’s an example I found that I particularly liked.
Aphrodite in modest shadow, another installment in my set of all four statues around Rynok Square.
Most Ukrainians don’t seem to know what to make of the Hare Krishnas, and honestly neither do I. I should probably sit down and read the Wikipedia article. Their song is pretty simple, at least: “Hare, hare, hare, hare-hare krishna. Repeat x1,000,000,000.”
Many of the streets seem optimized for horse-drawn wagons, not cars, so parking requires some ingenuity. The cars in the middle here are parked between opposing lanes of traffic (which, themselves, also contain trolley tracks). It’s common to see any null space in an intersection or round-about filled with parked cars, and many sidewalks are narrowed by cars with two wheels boosted up over the curb.
Vanity shot of what I look like heading off to class. Note the tie-bar bringing the outfit together.
The corvids in Ukraine are different from the crows back home. They’re about the same size, but a little scruffier, with a more prominent beak that’s large enough to handle big spherical nuts. Does that make them ravens?
The Catholic seminary, where I teach one class.
Just today me and Andrew (my colleague from the UK) took a walk to Lviv’s High Castle, which is a hill looking over the city. Apparently an actual castle stood there in the distant past, but today there’s only some old masonry supporting a viewing platform. The views, thankfully, are spectacular. This shot is looking down over the city center, or the historical district.
The highest object in the city is, of course, a Ukrainian flag. If you ever catch yourself thinking Americans are too zealously fond of our flag, come to Ukraine and witness true devotion. Ukrainian flags fly from every balcony and hang in the lobbies of many business.
Yeah, these pictures are out of order. We’ll get more High Castle at the end. For now, King Danylo on a sunny day! This is one of the more prominent monuments in Lviv, and is apparently a key meeting place. I will hopefully learn who King Danylo is when I actually crack the volume of Ukrainian history I brought along.
I also don’t know who Ivan Franko is, although he must have loved books, because an open-air book market forms at his feet whenever the weather is decent. Almost everything is in Ukrainian, Russian, or Polish, but it’s still fun to wonder through.
The Dark Lord of the Sith pauses to converse with a local.
This is the family tomb for a Hungarian merchant clan, right next to the Latin Cathedral. It’s open to the public most days, but I haven’t yet been inside. The front has some wonderful carvings of Christ’s passion.
A sorrowful Christ is perched on top of the sepulcher. He has a striking look of sheer weariness.
I’m going to need to remember this place.
You know, I’m really bad at remembering Ukrainian street names. This is possibly linked to my problem remembering Ukrainian words in general. So, while this lovely square has a name, I can’t remember it for the life of me. I think it starts with an “S”. Note the freestanding crucifix.
I thought this was clever branding.
Back to the High Castle! This is Andrew, and I wanted to get a shot of the budget conscious bench he’s resting on. Could a weary travel ask for more?
The steps up to the top, featuring a genuine Ukrainian couple.
A pile of ruins. I wish I had something more profound to say about them.
I noticed this stray cat creeping around the viewing platform, apparently trying to stay out of sight. I’ve actually noticed a number of feral dogs and cats around Lviv, and they all seem to range from friendly to mostly harmless.
Some kind of industrial structures on the horizon opposite the city center. Many of the old Soviet buildings in Lviv seem to be abandoned or semi-abandoned.
A residential district from a king’s-eye view. Most of the ordinary folks in Lviv seem to live in massive, Soviet-area apartment towers. They’re unsightly, but presumably functional.
There are some wooded hills stretching away from the High Castle that don’t seem to have anything built on them. This is the most nature I’ve seen in weeks.
A rare full-body shot of the author, photo credit to Andrew. I positioned myself so I’d block the gratuitous PDA taking place right behind me. Lviv is known as the Paris of Ukraine, and not without reason.
Hat. You can see one of the major highways cutting through Lviv in the background.
There’s a European romantic custom in which couples attach a padlock to some scenic monument or bridge, to symbolize the eternity of their union or some such garbage. Here’s one that had names written on it: Katya and Max.
That’s all for now, folks! Here’s to another glorious week of teaching and Chernihivske beer!