Khmelnitskiy... Day One

Trip Start Jul 16, 2008
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Ukraine  ,
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

At midday it was time to head-off to the railway station for my next stop - Khmelnitskiy, a city somewhere in the middle of western Ukraine.

My departure from Oleksandr's was made up bit difficult by the out of control dog which meant I couldn't really say good-bye to my hosts, which was a bit of a pity as they were so hospitable. In any case, after a short trolley bus ride, I was back at the rather busy railway station, but there turned out to be lots of ticket windows open if you wanted to buy tickets for travel on the same day so getting a ticket was surprisingly easy for Ukraine.

Here I am at the colourful and very busy railway station.

Train travel in Ukraine is great as the trains run very much on time and it has a certain aura to it, with every carriage having a conductor(ess) who makes sure everyone gets off at the right station and also keeps everyone supplied with tea. They also check everyone's tickets at each station and some of them look rather cute... or is it the uniform...?

Railway workers. Nice eh?

In old documentaries about Africa the commentary always says that the natives don't like their photo taken because they think their spirit will be captured by the camera... Now I'm rather dubious about that statement. For starters they wouldn't be developing the film out there in the jungle so the natives wouldn't have known what the camera does. Perhaps they just don't like having something pointed at them. Or they're just shy like just about everyone you point a camera at.

Checking my ticket.

For the part of my journey to the next stop, Ternopil, I shared the coupé with a woman travelling back home to eastern Ukraine but at Ternopil a family shared our carriage including a very vivacious and cute girl. She came into our carriage alone, sat down and very confidently said 'hello' and then asked our names.

The three or four hours to Khmelnitskiy passed like minutes as the young girl, Katya, kept on asking me questions. A nice way for me to practise Ukrainian.

Once in Khmelnitskiy I had to worry about my hotel again, as there are only a handful of hotels in town but I suppose in general you're not going to have that many internal tourists in Ukraine staying at relatively expensive hotels. In any case, I found a room in the second hotel that my taxi driver took me to. Very pleasant front-desk staff and the room is pretty good and a reasonable price - 200 hryvny - about A$40.

Why is this city called Khmelnitskiy? Well, it's named after a famous Ukrainian Kozak leader - Bohdan Khmelnitskiy. He's famous enough that just about every city in Ukraine has a Khmelnitskiy street - and a few also have a Khmelmitskiy statue. But with this city actually called Khmelnitskiy there's more than one statue. One at the railway station and this one just up the road from my hotel.
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Comments

johnz
johnz on

khmelnitsky
Thanks for your story and nice pictures. I was glad to read and to see such interesting places. Thanks

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