Day 190 | Tuesday September 20
Today Liuda offered me a sightseeing tour through Lviv. Liuda found me on an Ukrainian Facebook page and voted for me to come to her country. The son of the first Ukrainian king Daniel of Galicia was called Lev and in honor to him he called the city ‘Lviv’, or ‘City of Lev’. The city is known for coffee, chocolate and caramel. They have some stores where you can see how they make the products. The caramel one was the most interesting as it was like a museum, they made many objects like houses and even running trains from this sweet good.
Liuda is young, only 22 and already married. She told me in Ukraine it’s common to marry at young age and it used to be even younger, between 16 and 18. We climbed to the top of a church, did a hike to a mountain with a beautiful overview on the city and she treated me with a big lunch. The first decent meal I had since Thursday and my body had a hard time to deal with it.
Day 191 | Wednesday September 21
Nazar, the one that arranged my accommodation came to visit me in the hotel. He is founder of To-U and the Ukrainian Tesla Club. With To-U they are installing the country’s biggest EV charging network, and the good thing: they are all free! They see charging as a service and make contracts with hotels, restaurant, fuel stations etc to install a station. The station is than owned by the hotel for example, they pay for the electricity and maintenance but To-U attracts customers to the stations. A full charge is very cheap in Ukraine so if the client drinks one cup of coffee at the hotel they already make profit. With their intelligent app you can even reserve the stations on your desired time, something I have never seen before.
Liuda had some contacts at a local radiostation and they were very interested in my story. We went there and I told them about my journey so far and my experience with the Polish/Ukrainian border. Which was very funny and interesting, it had something to do with a plastic doll, listen to it here.
Liuda’s husband Dmytro owned a clothing store in Lviv, Like by Look, A store were they only sell locally produced clothing. Dmytro told me that I could pick some new items and I received a complete new outfit! Looking fresh and sharp now.
After that it was time to move, my next stop was in Lutsk were Alexandr invited me. A young guy, 23 and works at the client desk of MacKeeper, if you have a mac you probably have seen one of their advertisements. We charged the car at his parents, than went to a friend, Alexandr had a night shift and his friends took me to the city. Ukrainian beers are definitely worth a try.
Day 192 | Thursday September 22
Alexandr came back from his nightshift, met me at his friend where I stayed for the night and gave me a short tour through Lutsk. We visited a castle from the year 1300 which is pretty iconic, it is even shown on the Ukrainian 100 bill.
My goal is to go to Kiev but that was out of reach. Alexandr had a friend in Rivne where I could stay, 70km from Lutsk and from there it was about 300km to Kiev, so I could make that tomorrow. Alexander joined me to Rivne as he didn’t see his friend for a long time.
On the way to Rivne we made a stop at the ‘Tunnel of Love’. Alexandr is very much into photography and showed me a picture of this tunnel. I had seen this before and didn’t know it was close by or in Ukraine at all, a gift I guess. The Love Tunnel is an deserted railroad in the forest and surrounded by green arches, where you can make the most beautiful pictures, even when you’re not a couple.
In the afternoon we got to Rivne where we met Ben. They treated me with a fish & chips menu at a restaurant. At his home we charged the car and Ben used an extension cord which seemed a bit old and thin. It made me worry a bit. I went for a check an hour later and when I opened the door I saw smoke, heard something crackle, it was hot and the room smelled odd. I instantly thought there was something on fire, ran up to the room to get all the people, ran down again to find out there was nothing wrong. The extension cord did get too hot and smelled burned but the crackle came from the central heating in the room. False alarm but everyone was wide awake now.