Carpathian Ukraine: life is difficult, breathe is easy (Slavske Village)

Slavske Up the Hill

Slavske (Ukrainian Village)

And so my journey starts in the Carpathian Mountains. Mountains are everywhere where I look. I cannot hide from them; they keep an eye on me and my deeds. Today I am lucky to be in Svavske. This village is located deeply in Ukrainian Carpathians on a distance of 28 km from Skole in a picturesque valley of the river Opir and the river Slavka on the mountain chain Beskid. It is surrounded by 1000-meters height mountain ranges, Troyan (1235 m above sea level), Il’za (1066 m above sea level), Dovbushanka (1236 m above sea level) and Menchela (1014 m above sea level). Mountain ranges Beskid and Slavsky created unique local climate favorable for relaxation in any time of the year. Around 6100 inhabitants live here.

Slavske

Slavske, first of all, is a ski resort that attracts many skiers in winter. It can be called a paradise for skiers and snowboarders,  there you can find almost everything you need, hotels, restaurants, fast food, shops and even bowling. However, in reality it is a bit far from European resorts. And this is thanks to our Ukrainian Authorities (no matter current or previous), they are not interested in Western Ukraine; they think that here there is nothing except mountains and lakes; there are no roads to be built or repaired or any infrastructure. Our State Governors have never traveled these awful “roads” that hardly be called like that. You can use there only a tractor or rover, but a usual car, even don’t think, no way! Then a question arises who will ever dare to drive there? Only somebody who would like to feel extreme, by the way, you can use a quadricycle…

Chair Lifts

Driving these awful “roads” made my blood boil…these roads can be fixed so easily, no big money required, and then this resort will be full of tourists, especially Ukrainians, as we do not have many places to go nowadays, even from Black Sea we have only a small piece now. Somebody has stolen it or, better to say, annexed (we all know WHO). Tell me please where Ukrainians should go for holidays – definitely not to Crimea where Russians would like to leave you even without trousers. And what about foreign tourists, prices are very catching, only service should be improved, I agree. I have been abroad and know the prices are higher here as well as service quality.

Slavske Village

Indeed, we need to do serious changes, however, when you can taste our wine or vodka and borsch (beetroot soup) with garlic, you won’t regret that you came here. Ukrainian traditional cuisine is a cultural heritage which reflects historical development of Ukrainian nation, traditions, customs and culture. It is very unlikely that the Ukrainian national cuisine will leave you indifferent. After a good meal you can find yourself soaking into the traditional wooden bath tub with herbals and tea (have you ever heard about it?). You can relax there and enjoy tea. Everything is for people and with all the heart.

BBQ in Slavske

 And we should not forget that the most delicious BBQ can be prepared only in Ukraine and only by a male chef-cook! I see your puzzled faces…in our country it is believed that women have no right to deal with such delicate food as BBQ…I cannot explain exactly why, but I guess that women like doing everything quickly since they always have lots to do, BBQ is a very capricious food which should be cooked slowly, gently and passionately…men are able to do it since they usually do not stay the whole day at kitchen! Don’t you agree?

BBQ

People are so friendly and so hard-working here. Life is difficult for them, there are no jobs, everybody is abroad working as baby-sitters, cleaners, nannies, housemaids and etc. They did not deserve for such life. You should see their eyes, very bright, and their hearts are so kind. During my journey I accidentally met several typical representatives of Western Ukrainians; somehow they told me their stories. I have no right to share their stories with you, it’s private, the only I can say that I do still envy them, they are so brave, so free like wild horses galloping through time…

Bridge in Slavske

They still can joke and never complain. I like calling them Carpathian Ukrainians…they are special people…something tells me that changes in our country are possible only if they do something…they never give up, they won’t let to be conquered – better to die!

Church in Slavske

They are the symbol of unsubdued Ukraine that fights till the last breathe…symbol of an old man who brings his horses up to the mountains and for the question ” how is your life” answers: “difficult, but breathing is easy”…

Gates in Slavske

To be continued…

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