The end of the January travels. All of a week before I’m on the road again.
Our lovely Christmas Eve was followed on Saturday (January 7) by a lovely, very filling Christmas breakfast, after which we were driven to town for Christmas mass at St. George’s (Jura’s) Cathedral.
And from there, we headed back to wander in the city, with no particular goals in mind. The very best kind of wandering. There was probably some coffee. I bought a copy of Harry Potter in Ukrainian. And we headed into a café that had made fantastic impression on me way back when. Café Fresca did not disappoint. Check out this spiced hot chocolate!
Maki went a little more off the beaten path with a bit of a snack:
And some more wandering. Lviv is really a lovely, lovely city.
Full of all sorts of cafés. Now, I’ve long been familiar with the faux-Arabic Cyrillic, but I was kind of extremely amused by a café sporting faux Hebrew on one side street. Complete with a New Year’s tree in the window, taking me back to the exhibit in the Jewish Museum in Berlin, where (at least when I was there) they have a Christmas tree on display to talk about Jewish assimilation in the 19th century. But anyway, this is a New Year’s tree anyway.
Maki spied a small amusement:
And more street scenes.
It was also quite evidently Christmas, as groups gathered to sing carols and celebrate the holiday.
Twilight set in.
And we headed to the square in front of the opera house, where there was a lively market and a Christmas concert.
And even some street performers (after, of course, we had ducked in for more coffee).
After which Maki got in touch with Ihor, a friend of his, who took us back to his apartment for another Christmas meal and excellent conversation, about language, history, and politics, and all sorts of other topics. It was the height of both my Ukrainian understanding and my ability to speak Russian coherently. Always nice to remember that I can, sort of do this (pretty sure that in the month and a half that has since elapsed, my Russian his gotten particularly hilarious (and Ukrainian-inflected)). It was a lovely, pleasant evening, after a lovely, pleasant day. A nice end to a lovely, pleasant trip. The next morning, we had a final breakfast and headed to the airport, making a quick stop to pay our respects to the enormous Stepan Bandera monument (hey, doing more of that a week from Monday). And with that, I checked in my bag, and caught my flight. Back to Detroit, back to reality. This time, with a dozen or so books and a pair of size 14 shoes, (not so small) small reminders of what I left behind.
(But in happier news: leaving again in eight days!)