Posted by Dan on June 23, 2000 at 11:00:27:
In Reply to: Re: Out of Curiousity . . . posted by Natasha on June 23, 2000 at 00:56:07:
As I understand it, there are only 2 routes that operate the special service. One route is between Kyiv-Lviv and the other is between Kyiv-Odesa. I am certain of the Kyiv-Lviv route, but have only heard about the Odesa route. Anyway, it is daily service - one train each way each day. And it is only one rail car that offers the luxurious service. This car is operated (and owned?) by The Grand Hotel based out of Lviv. The only way I know to learn more about it is to contact The Grand Hotel and ask them directly. When I stayed at The Grand Hotel in February, they provided me all the details, but unfortunately, I cannot easily find the information right now.
The car itself looks quite different from all the other cars in the train. A wonderful dinner is served, and all compartments have private (and clean!) toilet/washroom facilities. The cost for a compartment is only a small amount more than regular First-class (I *think* that is also called "Deluxe") service.
I hope this helps.
: : Natasha,
: : Why did you have to share your train compartment with drunken companions?!? I have made numerous train trips, all over Ukraine, and have never been subjected to being forced to share my compartment with anyone! Granted, I *always* purchase all the berths in the compartment - and I have certainly been *asked* to provide one of the unused berths - but it was my choice to share it or not - and I have never even heard of anyone being forced to tolerate drunken passengers under these circumstances.
: : BTW - are you familiar with the specific car on the one train each day (one train runs between Kyiv-Lviv and another between Kyiv-Odesa) that is operated by Lviv's Grand Hotel?? I have found VERY few people that are even aware of this luxurious service. I hardly think they have ANY problems with the sort of behavior you describe.
: : Just curious.
: : - Dan
: Hi, Dan:
: I have heard from Ukrainians living in the US about some special train service but when in the Ukraine I could not find any information about it and I would be grateful if you let me know how I can contact them.
: Regarding travelling by train, I think you can purchase all the berths and be pretty safe in your compartment but you can not have a private bathroom on an ordinary train. My husband and I travelled quite ofter from Kiev to Simferopol and back and we always purchased a "deluxe" compartment. he always commented that we have a strange notion of the word "deluxe". Regarding drunken tavellers, we had a few unhappy encounters and I speak from my experience. If you were lucky to have a clean, quiet and safe journey by train, good for you.
: When working as a guide I had to go to different cities in the Ukraine by train and it was always a horrible experience for me.
: Again I would be very much obliged if you let me know where I can find information about that notorious train service.
: : : : Greetings,
: : : : I am looking to travel to Ukraine for the first time during late August-very early September for a period of approximately 8-9 days. I have tentative airline reservations for that period in and out of Kyiv. I am curious to know how people would recommend spending approximately 9 days in Ukraine for the first time on a trip that will start/end in Kyiv. Should I spend the entire time in Kyiv? Or, can I see all of the 'important' cultural and historical sites in a shorter time period within Kyiv and thus should spend some amount of time in a different city such as L'viv or Odessa?
: : : : If so, how do the controls on foreigner travel within Ukraine operate? It seems that from reading the Ukrainian Consulate's webpage that if I don't have proof that I'm going to be staying in a hotel in each city that I might possibly decide to visit I am barred from deciding once I get to Kyiv that I think I'll visit Odessa for a few days if it's not already on my Visa? Or is the only real requirement that I register my passport in Kyiv when I get there but then I am free to travel about the country without having to worry about if I get stopped in L'viv or some other city that my visa does not list that city as being on my pre-arrival itinerary?
: : : : Any help that people could give on either of these questions would be greatly appreciated. Also - what is the going rate for apartments? I think I've lined up a decent hotel stay for $99/night but I'm certainly open to saving money if it can be done with relatively less hassle. However, any cheaper place or apt. would have to be with someone/someplace that speaks English. Sadly, I do not speak Ukrainian - this is a pure pleasure trip since waaaay back when a portion of my family originated in Ukraine.
: : : : Regards,
: : : : Mike
: : : My husband and I have just returned from Ukraine and my advice for you is do not travel by trains unless you do not mind excessive heat, dirty compartments and drunken companions to share your compartment with.
: : : Now regarding your itinerary, the cultural differences between the western and eastern Ukraine are so big because for centures the East was controlled by Russians and the West - by Poles. What is true Ukrainian is hard to say. Odessa does not have a Russian influence. It is a sea port and it used to have the biggest Jewish community in Ukraine. It is a city with a lot of culture and history just like Lviv but it is just different. Why do not you look into something like a cruise along the Dnieper river? It will combine the comfort with visiting a lot of historic places.
: : : Regarding your registration, I strongly advise you to do it within your first three days. Your landlord can easily do it for you and it costs about $15 (compared with the fine you have to pay at the airport and all the hustle you have to go through). When you apply for a visa just mention what cities you plan to visit and you would not have any problems at all.
: : : Be sure to have American dollars when you ravel to Ukraine. The rate of exchange is fabulous.
: : : I wish you a nice stay in Ukraine where I lived and worked as an English-speaking tour guide for many years.
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