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“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.” Thomas Jefferson

15 May

 

Still rings true!

I can totally see how this city had inspired poets and artists for ages with its beautiful buildings, countless cafes, parks, wide boulevards and an atmosphere of perpetual romance.

Parc Monceau, classical collonade

Classical Collonda in the Parc Monceau

We stayed at the apartment in 17th arrondissment, not far away from the Parc Monceau.  It is a beautiful place where you can actually forget you’re in the city for a few minutes. The park has many play areas for children and free Wi-Fi (how cool is that?). We walked around the park and then went to the Arc of Triomphe.

Arc de Triomphe

How can you not be in awe?  Very wonderful to actually see in person, so beautifully carved and inscribed.

From there we made our way to the Eiffel Tower.  No words or pictures can convey its beauty, it just simply amazing!

Obligatory shot at the Eiffel Tower

Obligatory shot at the Eiffel Tower

The following day we met with my friend and a fellow Salsa dancer who lives in Paris now.  She took us to Place Des Vosges in Marais.  Interesting and historic, it made us feel as if we hopped back in the old Paris.  Contains the house of Victor Hugo (free entrance, but unfortunately it was closed that day).

Meeting to catch up at Place des Vosges

Meeting to catch up at Place des Vosges

From there we continues to walk around Le Marais. This small neighborhood has so much flavour! Streets are narrow, full of small fashion shops, cafes, chocolate and patisserie shops.  My friend suggested to have falafel for lunch… what can I say, if you are in this area,  it’s a must!

Narrow street in Le Marais

Narrow street in Le Marais

Chateau de Versailles is one of the attractions that we wanted to visit no matter what.  I have to say that we enjoyed the gardens more than the palace because the palace was so crowded and the line up to get in is insane.  We also found the info recorded in the audio devices to be “dry” and super-boring.  The palace is spectacular but the poorly organized crowds spoiled the whole experience.  Very disappointing!

The Palace of Versailles

 

The Chesnuts Are Blooming Again

8 May

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We spent the entire day yesterday exploring Kiyv (Kiev). I was there 20 years ago and was looking forward to see this beautiful city again. I belive May is the best time to visit Ukrainian capital. The chesnut trees are in full bloom and they perfume the air with their scent.

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We walked a bit along the famous Chreshatuk and visited Mariinsky Park. The weather was gorgeous, not a cloud in the sky.
I wanted my daughter to see the Golden Gates which used to be the entrance to the city back in X -XIII century. The site was restored to its current state in 2007.

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From there we wondered further off and stumbled by accident upon a really cool area – Modern Sculptures Installation Alley.

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Oh, did I mention how beautiful subway stations are?

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If I only were to win a lottery I’d totally buy a place in the Kiyv’s historical area.

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The Lent Is Over!

5 May

Today is the Orthodox Easter. My daughter always wanted to see how Easter is celebrated in Ukraine. I have 2 elderly aunts (85 & 83 years old) who live in villages outside of Chernivtsi so last night we left the city to spend Easter with them.
Our driver asked if we would like to get some tulips for the family. I thought he had a family member somewhere close by who grows flowers in their yard. We got out of the car, crossed the street and saw the most beautiful field filled with colorful tulips:

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Who knew that Ukraine has tulip fields too?
We stayed with one of my cousins whom I haven’t seen in 15 years! We talked, and talked, and talked…and before we knew it was 1am. After 2 hours of sleep we went to church to bless the Easter basket filled with homemade sausage (ковбаса), smoked pork loin, cheese, eggs, Easter breads (колач і паска), green onions, and garlic.

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The service was beautiful, we especially liked the bells (дзвони) at the end of the mass.
We came home, ate some of the blessed foods and slept a bit before the Easter lunch with the family:

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All this food you see is homemade, locally grown and super fresh. The smell and flavors are undescribable! And the homemade cakes and pastries are out of this world:

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We headed back to the city to continue celebrate with the rest of the family:

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I don’t think I can eat another bite for another 2 days 😛

Out And About In Chernivtsi

3 May

Each day my daughter and I are getting re-acquainted with the city where we were born. Our city is not that big (by North American standards) but has a lot of interesting buildings to see and areas to explore:

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The Turkish Square - with a well and the aquatic reservoir

The Turkish Square was fully renovated back in 2008 when the city was celebrating 600 years since it was first mentioned in a written document.

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The Turkish Bridge

I just had to do it, lol:

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The Square is especially beautiful at night, all lit up and glowing.
I find athat any city has a special charm at night, it has a different vibe:

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Cinema Palace (Палац Кіно)

To my fellow Canadian blogger Boombeeda, the picture above is for you. The building in this picture used to house a travel agency where over 100 years ago people from Bukovina were buying their tickets to come to Canada by the boat. Enjoy!

Out And About In Chernivtsi

3 May

Each day my daughter and I are getting re-acquainted with the city where we were born. Our city is not that big (by North American standards) but has a lot of interesting buildings to see and areas to explore:

image

The Turkish Square - with a well and the aquatic reservoir

The Turkish Square was fully renovated back in 2008 when the city was celebrating 600 years since it was first mentioned in a written document.

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The Turkish Bridge

I just had to do it, lol:

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The Square is especially beautiful at night, all lit up and glowing.
I find athat any city has a special charm at night, it has a different vibe:

image

Cinema Palace (Палац Кіно)

To my fellow Canadian blogger Boombeeda, the picture above is for you. The building in this picture used to house a travel agency where over 100 years ago people from Bukovina were buying their tickets to come to Canada by the boat. Enjoy!

Meanwhile In Ukraine…

30 Apr
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Our lunch

After the 2 days of travel (Toronto-Frankfurt-Kiev) we arrived today to Chernivtsi. This city used to be my home and it feels good to be here. The weather is wonderful, 33C!
My cousin prepared a lovely non-meat lunch: 3 salads, cabbage rolls & stuffed peppers, and some low-saly herring – this is the last week of Lent for us (we are Christian Orthodox).

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Turkish Coffee at The Viennese Coffee House

We spent the rest of the day wondering the streets of Old Town and then did some people-watching while sipping coffee at The Viennese Coffee House (Віденська Кав’ярня)

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And The Adventure Begins!

28 Apr

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Chernivtsi State University, Ukraine

We are off!

I am planning to continue to blog but it could be a challenge as I will be using my phone app.  I don’t think it allows me to read other articles but I’d be replying to the comments.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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