Getting around in Lviv

Lviv is as the tourist bureau says is “Open to the World”. As a non-native visitor I don’t feel out of place. There are people here from all over the world. My neighborhood market cashier now says thank you to me in English. I still say “dyakuyu”.

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It is a delightful walking town. There is so much to see and the mood changes daily. Rynok Square and other the historical center of the city are my favorite places to walk very little car traffic, with benches and outdoor cafes to sit and just people watch, always lively and full of surprises.

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That said, as a pedestrian you need to be alert. Rush hour traffic is chaotic, too many cars and not enough street. Drivers frequently park their cars on the sidewalks. So far I haven’t seen posted speed limits. My observations as a pedestrian and an Uber passenger is that cars go as fast as they can until they encounter an obstacle.  Caution, you don’t want to be that obstacle. I always cross at the designated cross walk, but I wait for at least one other person to be with me.

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When it comes traveling a significant distance, other than walking, my weekly mode of transportation is the “tramvay” or tram.

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Fare for the tram is 5 UAH (Ukrainian Hryvnia), which is about 0.19 USD.  You can purchase tickets on the tram. Most rides are on the honor system. On one occasion an inspector entered the tram and asked us to show our tickets. You purchase your ticket, then you need to punch it as soon as possible. On a full tram this can be a challenge. Frequently when people are too crowded to snake their way forward to purchase a ticket they will just pass their money to the person in front of them with instructions for how many and which type of tickets they wish. Then their change and tickets will get passed back to them. Students ride for 2.50 UAH, I know this because two students passed me 5 UAH to buy their tickets.

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Generally my tram experience has been pleasant. I usually haven’t had to wait too long and fortuately my route only involves 4 stops. Twice someone has given me their seat. Unfortunately there have been at least three occasions when my ride was cut short. The driver was stopped in traffic barely moving. She then made a lengthy announcement, some of which I understood. While I was still digesting the message, everyone else on the tram just sttood up, rushed off and started walking. Typically, I am not afraid to go against the crowd, but in cases like this I have learned it is best to follow the lead of the native speakers.

Continuing to learn new lessons everyday.

About Babs

I'm a narrative sculptor navigating her way through the ever-changing currents in what feels like an art ocean. Whether appreciating the calm rhythm of calls for art and exhibiting, or waiting to catch a big wave of inspiration to take me to the top. I just love being in the water. Formerly a pickle packer, theater major, crisis counselor and occupational therapist with a BA in Communications and a BS in Occupational Therapy, only to discover I've always been an artist. My work grows from a strong connection to people and a passion for discovering the beauty in ordinary things. I sculpt figuratively in clay, utilizing the female form and women’s themes. Frequently my inspiration is drawn from childhood memories and my own short poems. Like each of us as humans every work is uniquely influenced by the past and present and has a narrative.
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