Recommended routes Ukraine
The capital of Ukraine can be considered the “Mother of all Eastern Slavic peoples”. Since independence there has been an atmosphere of a city freshly converted to freedom, capitalism and consumption. Effervescent, dynamic, here is the new Eldorado for adventurers and businessmen: 4 X 4 parade with black windows, Russian-style casinos, luxury stores, and the desire to give meaning to the spiritual and intellectual emptiness of the post-communism era.
Kiev looks like the last frontier of Eastern Europe. It is the heart of the new Ukraine, a country which has said no to Soviet control and has peacefully detached itself from it. But by history, by its exterior appearance, by its style and its character, Kiev will remain for a long time yet culturally linked to Russia, like a rebellious son to his domineering mother.
Spread out on green hills which undulate on the right bank of the Dnieper, at the limit of Europe and Eastern Asia, it carries with it an enormous sentimental charge. Russian Orthodox revere it as a sacred city.
C & rsquo la Lavra of the Catacombs - series of 123 mummified bodies: the founding monks of Kiev. They are lit by a few faint candles.
Dominating the steel-colored waters of the Dnieper, springing like an impelieu scepter from the city, lined with imposing Stalinist buildings, shops and fashion stores.
In the upper part of the city, the CathéSophie (Sofiyski Sobor), the oldest Michel Wilmotte), emblèSophie, win at André (rue Andriyivsky), a cobbled street lined with souvenir stalls and old houses (including that of the writer Mikhaïl Bulgakov). In Podil is the Chernobyl museum. See again: the Bessarabskaya market (authentic, very lively), the Ukrainian Parliament (Rada), the Dynamo Kiev football stadium ...
In the far west of Ukraine, not far from Poland. This city has often been compared to a "Florence of Central Europe". Others see it as "Prague lost in the wheat fields" or even "an Italian city transported to the suburbs of Moscow".
Its historic center is splendid. Survivor of wars and revolutions, he mixes Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo styles. The patina of time, the wear and tear of defunct collectivism, and the desire to restore the city to its former glory, all of this can be read on the worn facades of sumptuous houses and palaces, on the stone of churches ...
Once the cultural capital of Great Poland, Lviv was forcibly attached to the Soviet empire by Stalin after 1945. The Poles today regret their dear city. Lviv is by far the most beautiful city in Ukraine, also the one where the pace of life, closer to that of Krakow than to Kiev, seems less busy, more human.
The large market square (Plochtcha Rynok), the 80 churches in the city, the High Castle hill (amazing view of Lviv), the Lytchakivsky cemetery, with funerary monuments considered to be the most original in Ukraine.
The Carpathian region seems to live outside of time. Life takes place at a slow, country pace, far from the bustle of big cities. We take charming roads, where horse-drawn carts roll. Tanned peasants cultivate the fields. Babushki lead herds of geese and cows on the dirt roads.
It's a funny journey through time, in an isolated and rural Europe, in a closed, forgotten and wild world, where modernization has not yet effected its changes.
From the low hills of Lviv to the isolated region of Gorgani (Horhany) passing through the Tchornohora mountain range (highest point on mount hoverla, reaching 2 m), the Carpathian landscape unraveled expanses of deep forests where wolves, brown bears, bison and deer still live in places.
For access, Frankivsk has kept an air of old Poland in its style and architecture.
You can discover the Carpathians with a guide speaking Ukrainian or Russian. You can also manage on your own, provided you have a good map and a car in good condition.
Odessa is located on the shore of the Black Sea. Catherine II foundedPéOrléans) with buildings not exceeding two floors, and trees by the thousands.
Odessa became the major Russian port on the Black Sea. This bustling and bustling city of commercial activity became legend in 1905 with the revolt of the battleship Potemkin, an event brought to the screen by Eisenstein. Libertine and libertarian city, this free port was dedicated to travel, trade and money.
It was the refuge of the egrades, the declassified, the adventurers and the minorities (1/3 of the inhabitants of the city before 1939 were Jews). Odessa has lost its splendor today, a consequence of the Nazi occupation and collectivism, but this port retains a bewitching charm.
The famous Potemkin stairs descending to the commercial port, the Pushkin Museum (he lived there in exile), the old Historic District crisscrossed with avenues shaded by plane trees (as in the South of France), and intersecting at right angles as in a colonial town in the New World.
A few kilometers outside the city, by the sea, the district ofArkadia where the night owls meet. It has dozens of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, open all night long, in an atmosphere of Luna Park and seaside funfair.
Bathed by the blue and limpid waters of the Black Sea, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea draws a peninsula attached to Ukraine by a isthmus. It was attached to Ukraine in 1954, by a decree of Nikita Khrushchev, who donated it to the Socialist Republic of Ukraine.
Here is an old "mythical and legendary" land (the Tauric Cherchonese), on the border of Europe and Central Asia. Populated successively by the Scythians, the Cimmerians, the Greek colonists, the Huns, the Bulgarians, the Khazars, Crimea formed in 1443 a powerful khanate ruled by the Tatars (descendants of the Mongols mixed with the peoples of the region). For 3 centuries, the Crimean Tatars lived away from foreign greed until Catherine II (annexation of Crimea in 1783) and Stalin (deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944) violently upset their fate.
Since the 1855th century XNUMX) and Balaklava Mediterranean, mild in winter and warm in summer. The turquoise waters and coastal beaches attract crowds of tourists and vacationers every year. The region produces renowned wine and cognac.
Yalta, city with many kitsch palaces, is between, at the Livadia Palace, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin signed the famous Yalta agreements, sharing the smoking territories of Europe after the Second World War.
On the east coast of Crimea, see also Karadag (nature reserve with volcanic rocks) and Sudak (historic fortress of the Silk Road).