Last weekend, I had the pleasure of walking through Lviv with my son, and with no plan or agenda. It’s such a wonderful, lively city. I always feel great after spending a little time in the center.
Happy to see the scouting organization of my youth thriving. The mayor spoke.
K2 is the second tallest and arguably most dangerous mountain in the world.
Amazing footage. Near the summit he had to take care to ski in a way that wouldn’t throw snow at ascending climbers.
God, I love this city. I had a rare excuse to go out on the town, as a colleague was visiting from the US. Granted, part of the thrill for me was vigorous conversation in my native and beloved English language. But the rest of it was the magic of Lviv.
As an old acquainstance one said: “L’viv is what Paris used to be in a by-gone age, and pretends to still be.”
The streets were packed with students, young couples, families, elderly, tourists – many of them seemingly Arab, as I think Ukraine is one of the countries with the most relaxed Covid-related restrictions.
All the bars and restaurants were packed. We had to skip a few because there was no seating. There wasn’t a mask in sight. And no police either, because Lviv remains an extraordinarily safe city.
Every other street seemed to have some musician or performer. All faces were relaxed and happy. All eyes were shining and looking around, enjoying the spectacles.
We peered in to a relatively new restaurant in the city square which I’d known of, but never visited. European Medieval theme. A bit kitschy. They had a sword in a stone from the Arthurian Legend, and a throne where you can turn a noisy crank and lower a crown onto whoever sits there. They had a pickle spearing game, and apparently all their recipes are from hundreds of years ago.
But the place was full, so we went to a newly-opened Langoustine restaurant and sat outside to people watch.
Then we went to Four Friends Whiskey for a shot, and then back to the central square to the classical Galician style Atlas restaurant.
Rare version of Shchedryk in English but preserving the literal meaning of the lyrics.
There are two small tropical greenhouses near Lviv. They offer tours. The couple that runs them are a whirlwind of excitement and botanical experimentation. They’re a real inspiration. They sell seedlings, and we bought a tiny lemon tree for our home.
Kiwi trees (vines?)
and much more
They have some special bred variety of bananna tree growing OUTSIDE their greenhouse, which has already survived -25 C temperatures.
– Do you speak English?
– No, I спік паску.
(“speak” sounds like the past tense of baked in Ukrainian – “спік” )
Ukrainians actually have a distinguished history in sumo. One of the two or great greatest sumo wrestlers of modern times was half Ukrainian.
Last night, we drove to Kyiv with the kids, ate at one of our favorite restaurants, located in the chic central mall, Tsum. Then walked up to the Christmas tree by Saint Sofia’s, and on the way home, stopped at another mall which has a huge play area with carnival rides and a trampoline room.
It was a pretty good New Year’s Eve.