by Alina Smolina
What's On 4, 2014
(click the image to enlarge it)
I  first strapped on skis 15 years ago,  and  my love for the sport shows no sign of waning.
    It's a fun way to stay in shape, and I have good reason to keep physically fit: I have just two
    size  Small ski costumes in my wadrobe, and have no desire to buy another one.
    When  I first felt inclined to take up skiing,  I never thought of doing it in Ukraine.
    The Caucasus and the Alps are known as chic places for the sport, without doubt. But trips to
    these places fraught  with difficulties such as visas  and  distance. It is one of the reasons
    the ski resort  in Bukovel is such a great option for myself and my sister who is making her
    skiing debut, as well as anyone else in Ukraine who loves to ski.

    The name of  the resort,  Bukovel, derives from  the name of the 1200 meter mountain which
     is located nearby.  The  resort is easy to  get to by train. There are various routes, but I think
     the best one is to travel to Ivano-Frankivsk and from there to get a taxi or bus. Accomodation
     options in Bukovel  are  abundant. There are cheaper  options  in Yaremche, 30 km from
     Bukovel, but it  means daily travelling to the resort on a terrible road. Another option is to
     stay in Polyanytsya village which is not far from the resort, however this option is also going
     to cost you more.
     Despite the cheaper options I decided to stay in a good hotel located near the ski runs.
     Considering I am taking my sister and she  will be celebrating her birthday in Bukovel, I
     decided the best present for her will be maximum comfort. I looked through the website of
     Radisson Blu Resort, Bukovel just to assure myself  once again there is no better option
     available. It is not hard to choose a suite as all of them are described in detail on the hotel's
     website. Right away I was grabbed by a Deluxe suite as the perfect gift for my sister.

Research and preparation complete, the room booked, the only question is how we are going
    to get there. I decided to drive, going from Kyiv through Zhytomyr, Rivne and Ternopil. For the
    entire 700 kilometer journey we saw no snow which seems to be a relief to my sister who
    has trouble to keep her balance even on the level ground. She seemed happy she would not
    have to learn to ski and consequently would leave Bukovel without any bruises or worse...
    Ten hours later we arrived and witnessed the slopes of Bukovel covered with snow. We
    arrived  late at night and weary from our long drive we had only one wish - to take a bath.
    And what a bathroom!
    It was separated from the bedroom with a glass screen. The suite itself met all our
    expectations and more, with two large beds. a spacious wardrobe to store all our equipment,
    as well as a kettle for coffee and tea. But the best thing in the room was the window with the
    view of the ski runs and the mountain right in front of you. There was also a large TV in the
    room but who wants to watch TV when you have all this beauty right outside?
    But first the bath...

The first beams of the morning sun got into the room through the window and woke us up. We dressed quickly and went down to the hotel's ski room. I was happy to see a good selection of A and B category skis and impressed with the friendly attitude of the staff. They helped us choose the proper equipment which looked new and unused, as well as called for an instructor for my sister. The instructor promised that by the end of the day she would be skiing fast and cofident.
Our hotel was located right at the foot of the slope which is ideal for beginners and relaxed skiing. The office is right at the start, so I bought two ski passes right away. Prices depend on the time you are planning to spend on the mountain. There are 600 kilometers of runs in total and various levels of difficulty. The longest is 2 kilometers. A good system of lifts allows you to change runs easily. There are signs everywhere, so you won't be confused which way to go. In addition, there are restaurants and fast-food outlets around to take a break and have a snack.

Two hours later I returned to where I left my sister and found her happy and already tentatively skiing. As we found out later, the instructors here teach the so-called Austrian system where they teach students new skills rather than explaining the same thing over and over again. Every instructor is monitored constantly by video surveillance.
At 16:30 some of the lifts begin to close and the electric switches on creating a special atmosphere. Also, the slopes are not as crowded as in the morning and you can enjoy skiing in relative peace. At 19:00 our first day in the mountains came to an end and we returned to the hotel. It is great you can ski right to the hotel entrance, leave all the equipment in the ski room, put on a bathrobe and slippers and go to your suite where another hot bath is already waiting for you.
What can be better than a bath? A sauna, of course. Radisson Blu Resort, Bukovel has four
    types, as well as a swimming pool and relaxation rooms which proved the best option to
    finish our day and get ready for sleep.
    Next day we woke up even earlier to ski before breakfast. The lifts start working at 8:30. As
    not many visitors enjoy early starts we were almost the only people on the fresh and cleaned
    An hour later we went for breakfast featuring fresh rolls, yogurt, fruits, cheese, meat and
    traditional flakes with milk. But the landscape through the window was so beautiful that we
    did not want to stay at the table long.
    On the last day of our stay the hotel congratulated my sister with a bottle of champaigne and
    lovely Birthday cake. We quickly took care of the bottle in the restaurant's lobby near the cosy
    flames of the fireplace. While it seemed the fairytale would never end we had to leave the
    next morning.
    Having such a beautiful resort in Ukraine is great for our country and just another fact we all
    can be proud of.
    Budget for two people for three days
- Petrol for 1.61 engine vehicle - 1.500 hrv
    - Accommodation at Radisson Blu Resort - 7.200 hrv
    - Ski and equipment rental - 680 hrv
                                                                     - Two hour lesson with instructor - 600 hrv
                                                                     - Ski passes - 1.520 hrv
                                                                    For more details please contact


February 25, 2014

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