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A CARPATHIAN ADVENTURE IS A GOOD WAY TO SPEND SUMMER VACATION

SLAVSKE, Lviv oblast
by Olena Goncharova
Kyiv Post, August 17, 2012


Ukraine's picturesque Carpathian Mountains offer a breath of fresh mountain air and refuge for those who want to avoid the noisy Independence Day celebration on the weekend of August 24.

Best known for its ski resorts the mountain village of Slavske is easily accessible by train from Kyiv and offers great summer attractions too. If you have not been there yet, the last weeks of summer is the perfect time for a visit.

Slavske is surrounded by scenic, rolling mountains and two small rivers - the Opir and Slavka - that together create a unique climate and relaxing atmosphere. Its greatest advantage is location. If you travel from Kyiv by train ( Hr 145 one-way in a sleeping car) you leave in the evening and wake up in the village. Once you have disembarked it is best to embrace the outdoors and not to pay attention to the bad roads. Potholes in Slavske are not the only reason why the locals drive UAZ, a legendary Soviet off-road jeep. It is the only car that can suvive in the mountains where roads disappear altogether. Enterprising locals lease them to the off-road fans who want to take on the savage paths.

The most popular tourist destinations in the area are the nearby Khashchovanske and more distant Synevyr Lakes, as well as the Zakhar Berkut ski resort and Shypit waterfall. Even getting to the tourist sites - by jeep, horseback or mountain bike, is an adventure by itself. A round trip by jeep to Synevyr Lake on the toughest root will take you a day and some Hr 1.300. We chose an easy route to Khashchovanske Lake.  The drive took us half an hour and costed Hr 300. Tickets to the Lake area costed another Hr 10 per person.

The Carpathians are best known as a winter destination but summer has its own charm there. Breakfast and lunch come with home-made sour cream, cottage cheese and fresh milk. You can hike to the forest and pick up blueberries. The weekly Friday market offers plenty of local fresh fruits at affordable prices.

To get a good look at the mountains, head off to the Zakhar Berkut resort. It is located nearby Volosyanka village, 15 minutes by car from the Slavske railway station. Chair lifts can take you up to the peak 1.243 meters of height. Tickets will cost you Hr 45 if you travel on foot and Hr 65 if you want to take a mountain bike up to the top. Biking is a good way to explore the mountains, provided you have sun screenand a raincoat with you. The weather can change quickly from sunshine to heavy rain.
We made a mistake not to take raincoats. Soaked on the way down, our main task was to find a cup of hot tea and to place to change wet clothes.

A CARPATHIAN ADVENTURE IS A GOOD WAY TO SPEND SUMMER VACATION A CARPATHIAN ADVENTURE IS A GOOD WAY TO SPEND SUMMER VACATION A CARPATHIAN ADVENTURE IS A GOOD WAY TO SPEND SUMMER VACATION

If you feel like drinking spring water, head off to the Pysana Krynytsia wellspring. There is a restaurant with the same name kocated nearby. Quadbikes are available for those who wants a bit of adventure getting there. We made the trip on horseback. The experience was so exciting that I screamed which my horse did not like at all. To remain calm on the windy mountain trails is very important.

Fresh air in the Carpathians works wonders with one's appetite. Thankfully, you will find plenty of kolybas, or traditional log cabin-style huts that serve local hearty dishes. We tried banosh (also spelled as banush)  for Hr 32. It is corn porridge with sour cream and fried bits of pork. Other local specialities to try include grilled trout, venison and mushroom soup.
Local souvenir shops offer local tea made of herbs, mountain flowers, home-made wine or honey. You can also buy wooden dolls, embroidered shirts, dresses and paintings by local artists.
A CARPATHIAN ADVENTURE IS A GOOD WAY TO SPEND SUMMER VACATION A CARPATHIAN ADVENTURE IS A GOOD WAY TO SPEND SUMMER VACATION A CARPATHIAN ADVENTURE IS A GOOD WAY TO SPEND SUMMER VACATION

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May 29, 2013

 
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