Saturday, April 11, 2009

3:10 to Truskavets

We left P’yatikhatki at about 3:30 pm on Sunday April 6th. The Dnipropetrovs'k - Truskavets passenger trains run twice daily and we took the later one. We arrived in Monday at about 12:30 pm or 21 hours later. We could have driven in the same time but it would have cost us a lot more for gas and a night’s lodging. The train wandered across western Ukraine stopping at 25 towns and cities. Someday I will make a map of the route.

In the background you can see the overhead walk which is 50 steps up and crosses 12 tracks on either side of the station area. There are three platforms but you better be on the right one when the train comes as you have to cross the tracks to get to two of them.

Two years ago, I had ridden the same train from L’viv to Dnipropetrovs'k and figured that there had to be a quicker way to go about 1000 km. There isn’t.

The train had seen better days and the coaches were not like the Kyiv to Dnipropetrovs'k run at all. Windows were filthy, washrooms just one cut above Chinese trains, but the bedding was clean and the tea water hot. We had our four-person compartment to ourselves for the first 6 hours which was nice. Then a young man got on who went as far as Bili Tserkva, then two women who went as far as L’viv. We had the last two hours to ourselves again.

Truskavets is booming. It is a spa town and there are spas everywhere and new ones being built, economy or no. Too bad there was no money left for road repair. The road from the railway station to the Sanatoria Pivdennii was more like our village main street in Marianivka. Which is to say one could bury a sizeable herd of livestock deep enough to meet Health of Animals Regulations without too much digging.

Our Sanatorium was built in 1976, so was Soviet style. The bathrooms had been upgraded but the rest of the building was quite as it had been for three decades. Kuchma (Ex-President, not our cat) used to come here when he was head of the Soviet Space Program out of Dnipropetrovs'k so it must have been pretty classy place in its time. It had a wonderful arboretum.
We found our room and settled in. Expecting internet was too much. Hot water was intermittent. What can I say? We needed showers before we dared go for lunch. No hot water!? Ok!! Desperate, I took an icy mountain-cold shower. Of course, the hot water was working by the time Tanya got in ten minutes later. I get no respect.

3 comments:

  1. Well, your travels sounded "interesting," meaning that you survived the adventure. I still think we are crazy in Canada not to make better use of trains.

    Hope your time at th spa is wonderfully refreshing, without being too "cool."

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  2. Have you noticed all your vacations go this way?

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  3. Rob - my travels, as May-B has noted are always interesting. My life is an adventure. Not the square jawed hero type but more the Mr Magoo kind. By the way "Ya magoo" means "I can" in Russian.
    May-B - you could recount our family trip to Oregon.

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