Tag Archives: travel

003. Restaurants of Lvov

Русская версия этого поста здесь.

Lvov is totally different than other cities in Ukraine.

I wasn’t in Odessa yet but I’m sure that it is beautiful but Lvov is much better.

In January 2015 I was in Lvov for 5 days; after that I wanted to stay there for a living. This spring (2015) I even moved to Lvov for a couple monthes to try. Probably I’ll turn there some day.

I may tell about Lvov for a long. I will write a few posts about it but firstly I want to talk about a very unique thing which definitly made Lvov tourist city. About restaurants.

That was 2007 when 3 enterprising people created a company in Lvov and opened their first cafe called “Bilya Diani” (near Diana). It is a small open-air cafe. In that very year the restaurant “Kriyivka” was opened. This restaurant is the most attended restaurant in Ukraine (some people says that it is the most attended in Europe but hmm..). The company called Local.

After 8 years Local has tens of restaurants, coffee shops and others.

What is the uniqueness? Here is the thing: every Local restaurant has its own unique theme. It is very memorable for visitors. Even legends appear about some of them. These restaurants suddenly were crucial for development of Lvov. Rumours about them leaded a big tourist stream to the city. Before Local Lvov was only the city. Yes, beautiful city. But for now it is the city with very unique culture. So many restaurants here just copy the business style of Local. It even became a standart.

If you are Ukrainian but you’ve never been in Lvov you should know at least “Kriyivka”.

I think the city administration owns these guys a lot. They’ve done the impossimble.

I spent a lot of time in Lvov and can say that I was in every Local restaurant. I want to tell you about some of them.


It looks like an earth-house of UIA. You can’t know the adress of it you just have to find it by yourself. The entrance is in a regular approach. No signs. You see a small window on the door and you have to knock. Than a guy with a riffle opens the window and asks you the parole. You must say “slava Ukraine” (glory to Ukraine). After that you have to pass a little test by medovukha (honey vodka) and can enter.

There was the deputy in the goverment of Yanukovich: Tsarev. Once he said that Kriyivka must be closed because of nationalist conflicts. And one of owners answer that Kriyivka has over 1 million visitors per year. And how much people voted for Tsarev?

Kriyivka is Ukrainian nationalist place but there is a lot of Russian speakers inside it (as in the whole Lvov too). Here is Ukrainian field kitchen, very tasteful. A man with a gun walks through the restaurant and “shoots” Russians. Russians laugh. They made the show from the nationalist probllem and quantity of visitors approves that the show is succeful.

The exit leads to the very interesting yard.

Than you come up and see an antiaircraft gun. And you can admire the view to the roofs. Generally many restaurants of Local has either a roof or a basement. It gives your a special mood.

The second popular restaurant in Lvov called “Dom Legend” (the House of Legends). You can even visit it not like a customer but with a tour. There is a special man near the entrance which tells people legends of Lvov. The restaurant has 5 floors and an every floor has some special sense. For example there is the block-stone counting floor. There is a board shows how many block-stones are in Lvov for now (and if some fucking functionary steals stone-blocks numbers on the board decrease). Another floor has the all data about monuments of lions in Lvov (Lvov means the city of lion), big and small. Yet another one is the library with very old books (100-200 years). There is a TV in one of toilets. That TV plays a video where you see a hatch in the ceiling. The hatch opens and two guys rebel that you are sitting here for a long :-) The waiters are dwarfs.

This is the stairs inside the restaurant.

You can go on the roof too. There is the car. The monument of chimney sits on the pipe. People throws coins to his hat.


This one is about BDSM. Waitresses in corsets with lashes. Sometimes they lashes customers. Red light, TV with videos about Ukrainian goverment (for a very strong sicko I think), dishes from a bull cock etc. I didn’t like food but I didn’t try a bull’s cock though.

If you want to get a Local discount card you should to realize a special task. Tasks are different in every restaurant. The task in Mazoh-cafe is: you must take off your t-shirt and you’ll get 20 lashes. And you must say “I wanna more!” after every stab.

A bill in a bra.

One of my favorites. Lvovsky plyatsky.

They cook amazing strudels and cheese-cakes. I particularly recommend a strudel with a salmon and a cheese-cake with dried appricots. The name cheese-cake describes this dish not exactly. It’s a traditional Lvov dish, very tasteful. Do not forget about creams and jams.

You can watch the process through the window.

Poshta na Drukarsky. It means “Post on Drukarska street”

It’s even a museum with old post cards, stamps, letters etc. There is the machine which you can use to make a post card by yourself and send it somewhere. Here is also a very big assortment of beer from the whole world: Germany, Belgium, USA, Checz Republic, anywhere.

In the toilet you can watch some fun videos about post. You know, how FedEx couriers throw TV over a fence etc.

“Congratulations! Finally you drink not a shit.”

Kopalnya kavi (the Mine of coffee)

Coffee-house with the theme about the mine. Vagons, darkness etc. I recommend to order the soldered coffee. You will get a cup of coffee with sugar on the top. And waiter will solder it by blowtorch. I don’t have good pictures of this cafe because of a bad light inside.

Near the city Arsenal you can find the street-food market. I think it is only one place in Ukraine. There are sousages, shashlik, potatos, plov, colored varenyky (black one are with a scomber!), Carpathian tea, traditional liqueurs and golubtsi.

BTW, when we were in Lvov secondly, golubtsi even opened a separate cafe. But colored varenyky disappeared.

Cafe-museum Fixazh. (Fixer)

There is a big collection of photographic technique. I was delightful.

Some catcafe. Not so cool as in China, but cool too.

Amazing pancakes. We didn’t even afraid of a huge line.

There is a market of street breakfasts.

This guy in white pants and shirt is the mayor of Lvov. Cool bro. Just walked and ate an ice-cream :-)

People dances tango in cafe.

This colourful person invites people in Russian restaurant.

There is the coffee-house and the souveniers shop inside the old tram.

Some national dances. BTW it is “Bilya Diani”, that very first Local cafe.

I don’t have pictures but recommend to visit: Restorazhiya myasa i spravedlyvosty (the Restaurant of meat and justice) with a butcher and tortures staff, Knaypa pid zolotoy rozoy (the Restaurant above a golden rose) where are no prices in menu and you have to bargain with a waiter, Gasova lyampa (the Gas lamp) – cafe-museum of gas lamps, Naydorozhchaya restoratsya Galichiny (the most expensive restaurant in Galiciya) and Pstrug, Khlib ta Wino (Throut, bread and wine).

Lvov has a LOT of restaurants. You can just walk down streets and find something unusual.

And there are museums, castles, street musicians, buildings, cathedrals and monasteries, Lychakov’s cemetery. And I’ll tell you more later.

005. The castles of Lvov. The cave city.

Русская версия этого поста: Львовская область. Неизвестные замки, пещерный город.

Lvovskaya oblast (oblast means state) has dozens of castles. Tourists know only about Golden Horseshoe castles: Olessky, Pidgorezhky, Zolochevsky. We were here in winter 2015.

Olessky castle. BTW, winter in Lvov a more warm than in the East. It is regular winter weather.

The view from the castle hill.

There is a museum inside the castle. I won’t show tons of photos but the museum is pretty interesting.

I liked this one. Unknown artist. Wood that looks like a crumpled paper.

There is an exibition of torture tools in the basement dungeon.

Pidgorezhky castle. Very big one.

It has not good condition. You can’t visit the castle inside except one room in the basement.

There is a “ghost” in that room. I didn’t take a good picture, but it is a white garb in the darkness spotted by black light. One of episodes of TV-show “Battle of extrasensories” was made here.

Near Zolochevsky castle the battery in my camera has died. If you would order a bus tour from Lvov these 3 castles would be included. They are the biggest and interesting for most of people. But I recommend to rent a car and go around a lot of interesting places.

Well, I like unknown places more. In summer 2015 on a weekend we went to see other castles of Lvoskaya oblast. There are at least 20 castles around Lvov. Most of them are in awful condition and tourists don’t know about them at all.

The castle in Stare Selo (Stare Selo translation is “the Old Village”). Ruins. No people.

Just look how beautiful it is.

Svirzhsky castle. It was closed and we just had a walk around.

Some little cave. Maybe that was a wine-cellar.

We looked for that place for a long. No signs, nobody knows nothing about it. But we’ve met bus with tourist at this place. Some cave city.

And we were in the city called Zholkva. It is very interesting place. It has ancient planning: the huge square in the center with old buildings around it. And of course the castle and the cathedral.

The beautiful wooden cathedral in Zholkva.

002. My pilgrimage on the Santiago’s Way. 785 km by bicycle.

Русская версия этого поста находится тут

A long time ago I’ve knew about Camino de Santiago. It has a lot of names: St James’ Way, Santiago’s Way, France Kings’ Way. What is it? Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrim way to Santiago de Compostella, the city in Spain where the relics of one of 12 apostles keeps. It is not only one way; there are many ways from different parts of Europe, but the most popular is French Way: from the French border through North Spain.

Camino de Santiago is the very special place with very special people. Most of them go the Way because of religious reason of course. But you can do your pilgrimage by any reason either you hear any confess or you are even atheist or agnostic. Some people do it for health, sport, travel, challenge or another reasons. You can know more about the Camino here.
Also I recommend you to watch the very good movie: The Way.

Because of my love to cycling I’ve decide to complete the Way by bicycle. Well, 3rd August 2015 we were in Pamplona and started our Camino.

First of all you need to buy your Credencial. It’s a pilgrim passport that gives you possibility to stay overnight in special refuges for pilgrims: albergues. They are very cheap and always have beds. Also you have to stamp your credencial in every place you stay overnight or have a lunch. Those stamps are an approvement of your completing the Way and are the ground for getting a certificate of pilgrim at the end. Finally it would look like this:

Let’s go! First day. We understood that the Way is a little bit harder that we think. Honestly it was too much hard. Spain is the country of mountains. The Way goes through fields, rocks and forests. We did only 69 km and were very tired.

To go the right direction on the Way is very simple. There are so many special signs which point you where to go. Usually they are symbols of the Way: a shell or an arrow. Why a shell? Because ancient pilgrims collected shells in Muxia on the ocean shore, at the place where the Camino ends. Those shells were an approvement that they completed their pilgrimage. These signs look like this:

And even like this:

Sometimes the routes for bicycles and walkers were different, sometimes were the same. You can even choose the asphalt roads only.

The famous place on the first mountain’s top.

Sometimes the Way looks like this. You don’t ride a bicycle, you know. Bicycle rides you.

There were a lot of adventures during the first day. We were very tired because of pushing our bicycles on the top of the first mountain, than we’ve almost blewn out because of Spain portions of a lunch, found the wine-for-free-pot, choose the wrong way and 10 km rided in the darkness using a phone flash for lighting up the road. And we can’t find beds in the village where we’ve stopped! All the albergues (refuges) close at 22:00. And we’ve arrived at 22:30. When it had begun to rain I started to knock to some albergue’s doors and compeled the guy from here to open the door and give us beds. It were places for sleeping on the garret’s floor.

And our dinner was everything that guy has found in a fridge.

Wine-free-pot. It is on the building of the wine museum. Nice one.

Every day something interesting happened. Some holiday or interesting people. Or beautiful places. The Camino is very unique place.

Dominican monk on the Camino. His clothes is very clean and light.

Spanish people doesn’t know English. So you have to study either spanish or gesture language. I know almost 100 words in Spanish after my Camino. And I know how to say hallo, good bye, how to buy something, how to ask the way etc. It’s simple after English.

Spanish food is very tasteful as for me.

Tapas. Appetites.

Hamon, cheese and wine.

Pulpos (I think you understood this word) and morcilla – traditional Burgos’ sausage from blood and rice.

A beautiful view from restaurants.

The first place. Paella.

And negro paella. Black. With ink of a cuttlefish.

At the second day we needed to buy some bicycle stuff. We were in the big city: Logronyo. And we have knew the most awful Spanish thing: siesta. From 14 to 17-18 everything is closed in Spain. Only restaurants is opened. We waited to 17 until the bicycle shop opens.

Nastya is boring.

Spanish villages are very beautiful. Houses from rocks. Nobody on the streets. Very old churches. This is a regular village:

Pilgrims. They are very special people. Maybe because most of them are religious. I don’t know. But they are… like a family. Kind and merry.

These pictures say everything about pilgrims. People leave food and things those another pilgrims could need.

Third day we’ve arrived to Santo domingo de la calzada. The small city with the beautiful cathedral. And we’ve met a huge group of cyclists: 58 people! They are professionals, some Spanish club. And they had a truck which drived behind them with all their things inside. Cool.

This guy from cathedral makes stamps in 58 pilgrim’s passports. Very hard job :-)

It’s very hard to take a good picture of any cathedral. Too less light.

On the roof:

Burgos. Our 3rd day’s finish point.

Just somebody’s house. Very cute.

The next couple days we were at the land of rocks and dust. Almost a desert.

Guy from albergue collects money from the whole world.

Oh, it was a very hard day.

The bar Elvis in Reliegos, very small village between nowhere and nowhere. Every person inside that bar was as a character from the movie. Bartender, waitress, alcogolic-grandpa… Music out loud. I can sit here forever and watch those people.

Cathedral of Leon

In Leon we got a puncture of a tire.

This hotel was in the movie The Way.

Gaudi museum in Astorga.

There is a chocolate factory in Astorga. A chocolate is good.

Btw, you must have cash! We had a real problem to find any bank machine or place where we can change money. And every shop where you can pay by a bank card denies card operations only if amount is more than 10 euro.

This is some special place where pilgrims leave rocks which they carry on the Way. Also they leave their names and even prays written on papers.

We’ve met only one girl from Russia on the Camino. Actually we’ve met Russians at the second day, but they were from Germany. And there is nobody from Ukraine.

You can choose a purpose of your donation.

A fire in a forest.

The last mountains before Santiago.

A little bit tired.

The last 2 days we cycled through villages with a lot of cows. Mines fields everywhere and a very strong smell :-) It seems there are the world cows’ shit producing center :-)

And Santiago! We did it!

Our Way was 785 km and took 9 days. I’ve lost around 5 kg here, so it was hard I think :-)

For the ending I want to tell you some amazing thing happened to us on Camino. 2nd or 3rd day we’ve met a couple from France. Cyclists. Usually we went faster than another cyclists but these two had totally the same speed. We met every day in every city where we stayed. And we’ve finished together at the same day. Amazing!

They did the Way second time. It was their 20th wedding anniversary. And they did it first time 15 years ago on their 5th wedding anniversary. The beautiful couple. I wish I will met them again once upon a time on Camino.

BTW, I think I wanna do it again by walking. When you cycle you can’t talk with people and people are very intersting here. So, I think I’ll turn here one day. And I recommend to you to do it. For any reason: religious, health, challenge… It would be an Adventure for you. Buen Camino!