Deeply Immersed in the Nature of Carpathian Mountains

Deeply Immersed in the Nature of Carpathian Mountains

[ Sept.2018 ] On the next day, we went south from Lviv in western Ukraine to the Carpathian Mountains and spent a whole day in nature.

Fortunately, the weather was fantastic.

On the day, our friend Alina’s best friend joined us, so four of us got in the car of Alexander, the guide of this area.

The first place we went to was the Fortress of Tustan.

There were rocks soaring into the air, which reminded me of Bastei in Germany, where we had been a few years ago.

It used to be a fortress, that was built using these rock formations, between the 9th and 14th centuries.

We saw an information board with a picture of the fortress how they imagine that it would have been like.

The wooden structures were not there any more, but we saw some holes and rifts and apparently there are as many as 4,000.

According to Alexander, there are 7 places with this kind of rock in this region.

Once upon a time, a witch in a village planned to marry her 7 daughters to the good looking 7 brothers in the town.

She invited the brothers and hosted a feast.

Towards the end of the dinner, she introduced her 7 daughters to them, but they boys flinched.

So the witch urged, saying “Do you want to get married or do you want to become a rock?”.

The boys chose to be rocks.

Therefore, there are 7 rocks around here.

This story reminded me of another story we had heard in Scotland, where the girls became mountains.

In Tustan, it was lively, with wedding photo sessions and children on school trips.

While we were there, Alexander said that the spring near there was good for your eyes, so we each washed our face with the water.

Next, we had lunch.

We had simple pork steak in the restaurant in a motel called “Svyatslav”.

The waitress was a young country girl who did not have enough experience and was not very thoughtful, but the place was lovely with the river nearby.

After lunch, we went up the mountain called Vysokyi Verkh, which is 1,241 metres high by chairlift.

The lift was very long and it took about 40 minutes to get up there.

Apparently, the chairlift is 2,800 metres long.

Of course the view was not as magnificent as the Caucasian Mountains we had been to in July, but the season was just right to see the autumn colours, which was very nice against the blue sky.

On top of the mountain as well as at Tustan, there were some stalls selling BBQ meats and some people were enjoying a picnic.

Here, Alexander told us a story: During the Second World War, the local people here had a deal with the Soviet forces that “If you pay, we will kill the Germans”.

The original deal was 15 kopecks per body, but after the battle, there were so many bodies that the Soviets started negotiating.

They said “Can you make it 10 kopecks per body?” and the locals answered “That is no good. We paid 10 kopecks per body to the Byelorussians, so we do not get any margin”.

That made us laugh.

According to Alexander, there are Psilocybin mushrooms in this mountain.

The last place we went to on the day was Kamianka Waterfall.

Apparently, in spring, the volume of water makes the waterfall impressive, but on the day in autumn, it was not that great.

Anyway, we enjoyed the day very much.

In addition, after coming back to Lviv and having a Georgian dinner, we smoked hookah in a cafe.

According to Alina, the Turkish labourers introduced it to Ukraine and the local young people got hooked.

Every cafe in the town seemed to have them.

For me, it was the first time I had smoked one since once in Iran a long time ago.

While we were doing that, it started raining, though it was so sunny during the day.

Afterwards, Alina told us that this area in Ukraine is famous for bad weather, so we were very lucky to have a lovely day.