Me and my friend had decided to take the Ukrainian Carpathian Region as our vacation exile since he was on a low budget period due to change of job. The main goal of our trip is to enjoy nature away from the stress of city life and do some adrenaline rush activities. Doing some research I found out that the Carpathian region of Ukraine is a natural heaven so I decided to spend some time there.
One of the problems of going to Ukraine is language barrier. The majority of Ukrainians do not speak English and I’ve noticed that some of them do understand English but they can’t speak it. So we decided to look for a Ukrainian tourist company in the Carpathian region. After some Googling, I stumbled upon a website called Green Ukraine that organize trips to the Carpathian region and provide a personal guide throughout the whole trip all day long. After some emailing with the company, we came up with a schedule to spend 5 days on the Carpathian region. I was fascinated on how fast their email reply is. Heck, we had around 7 emails a day going back and forth. The guy I was corresponding was Andriy and it turned out that he is also also our guide.
Train to Ivano-Frankivsk
I went to Ivano-Frankivsk by a train from Kiev. The meeting point with our guide Andriy was the railway station in Ivano-Frankivsk.
Word of advice: Never ever travel in Ukraine by train. Keep reading to know why.
I took the 3rd class ticket because there were no seats on the second and first class cabin. The train trip from Kiev to Ivano-Frankivsk was the crappiest trip I’ve ever been to in my life. There was no air-conditioner and it was summer so the whole compartment stinks and smells like underwear and socks! Heck I felt like throwing up and I was disgusted the whole freaking time. There are no windows to open and the toilet is crap and dirty. People do no know English so we couldn’t talk to anyone in there. Luckily, at the last moment before the train leaves, a guy came by listening to me and my friend talking in Arabic language, so he greeted us. It turned out that he is a nice guy from Jordan in his senior year studying medical in Ivano-Frankivsk.
Days later, we went back also by train but on second class. It is better than the 3rd but it still stinks. There were no tickets for the 1st class.
Anyway, at least I ended up experiencing soviet union era trains.
After about 12 hours on the railway, we finally arrived to Ivano-Frankivsk railway station at 9am. As soon as I stepped out the train, it felt like joy of life is coming back to me again. Of course, I still stink after spending 12 hours in there, but the delightful and fresh air outside the cage has risen up my mood.
After spending about 2 hours waiting for a restaurant to open, pick up some groceries, and looking for bank to withdraw Euro currencies from my bank account, then it start raining and we finally hit the road to go to our cottage in Verkhovyna. That’s another 2 hours until we reached the cottage to take big awesome shower and feel clean!
As you can see above, that’s where we spent our nights. In a super cool cottage out in the country. We are surrounded by farm houses and a nice view to a mountain nearby.
Our first activity was Quadricycling (ATV). We spent around 30 minutes riding on various locations and tracks. Ascending and descending heights, between woods, on the street, on muddy tracks… etc. It also rained for few minutes. It was fun and enjoyable and the instructor allowed me to drive fast because he said I’m a good driver. That was a good complement for someone who had never drove an ATV before!
I’ll leave you with a picture of how the view was when we were doing Quadricycling.
We spent the rest of the day relaxing and lying down on the farm. The night was cold and misty and we went to bed early because we were exhausted.