My bicycle tour in the Ukrainian Carpathians
I went for a bicycle tour to the Ukrainian Carpathians between Oct. 24th and 27th, 2006.
To view the photo , click at the link like this
I got up around 5 am. I drove with my freshly bought car " Citroen Berlingo " to the Ukraine-Hungarian border at sunrise.
I found a garage to leave my brand new car, and changed cloths for the ride.
I started my ride around 12 o" clock. I went through the border without any problems.
As I told that I am heading the the Uzsok pass (Uzhotskij pereval) ( 840 m) a frontier soldier kidded with me, where are the snow chains from my wheels ? In sonny weather on excellent motor road Csap-Kiev arrived in Ungvár (Uzhgorod) in an hour.
I change some money left some pamphlets about our apartment/hotel and job offer in Russian language.
Then I was lookng for the news paper's publishung house also on the pedestrian walk Here I met accidentally two elderly ladies talking Hungarian.
I also went to the Ung(Uzh)river.During searching for the Publisher House I found Petõfi's statue Later found the way up to the castle, where I made photo of the fortress and University for Law.
In the middle is my 20 years old bycicle made in the former East Germany briefly called in German DDR.
I left Ungvár, and pass by Nevicke Castle (XII. century).
I found in the evening my hotel room at the train station in Velikij Bereznij(Velikiy Berzniy).
I had only 5 min. rain on the way here. This was just good to eat some creamy wafer and an apple.
Next morning I planned to start early, because I did not know where can I find a place to stay. Maybe after 120 km ride or even longer.So I got up 5 pm., but as I pumped up the air on my wheels I hurt the air valve. So I had to change the tube. I lost precious 40 min.
The misty morning looks like this. This was the view to the Ung (Uzh) river after half an hour ride in the chilly morning. I told to myself, it is cold, it would be nice to have breakfast in a pension, which web side I found on the internet even in Hungarian language. I found even signs in Hungarian langaue at the main road. I arrived to the skiing centre high up in the mountains, found the boarding house with a good view to the ski slopes.
But I found the pension closed because of renovation.I think they were fixing the heating system.
Finally I managed to get a cup of hot tea in a small bar for road workers in the village.
After I managed the winding serpentines up to 853 m Ushpass- I did not dare to make photos from the concrete tank barricades left by the Hungarian army on the top of the pass in the World War II.- ,because I was afraid of the military check point.
I was surprised,because I found myself on a high platau, where I had my breakfast.
Then I enjoyed the view of the Carpathians during the ride .
I climed up hills and enjoyed rolling down with 50/55km/h downhills on the way to Lemberg (Lviv).<br> I loved it that much that I missed the turn off from the main road, so I got to Turka, where I had to return.<br> My most interesting experience was to see how they skin a cow at a meadow near Verhje not to far from the motor road Lviv-Vereckiy pereval = Verecke pass-
I talked to the butcher, who certainly tasted the local wodka during his job not once, finally left him as a friend after I explained my trip and nationality.
Just before getting dark I found a small pension along the main road a similiar one to this pension on the top of the new Verecke pass.
I did not waste time to make a photo, because I got up a bit later than a day before, I had breakfast, I got a bottle of hot tea to take with. And I had 150 km ahead of me.
So I soon arrived to the top (840 m) I almost did not notice the long, but not steep climb.
I spend a little time to look at the vendors, and the landscape.
I now have to exlain that this is not that pass, where the Hungarian tribes invaded the Carpathian Basin in 895-896.
This motor road was constructed only about 10-12 years ago.
I about 3 years ago drove through the old pass by car , which is just left over the first mount (hill) at this photo.
This time I could not go that way.
I stopped for a moment to make this photo to the old Verecke pass on the speedy downhill ride.
Now I had a good job, many ups and downs with a bit tail/backwind, but of course mostly down hill ride with high speed.
I also overtook a big, long lorry. It went with 50 km/h so I left him behind.
As I stopped at the hotel later the driver caught me up and tried to repair something. I was not so fast, but the truck out of order.
As on the other way to Uzsok Pass here too, many times crossed the river, now the Latorca river.
After I placed my add in the local news paper in the town of Szolyva (Svalyava), I passed by this monastery with Cyrill and Method statue opposite.
I finally arrived to Munkács (Mukachevo) with the magnficent castle, overlooking to whole area from the top of a 86 m high hill.
Ejoy the medieval atmosphere :
Higher cout yard. which had been defended by Ilona Zrinyi three years long. This is the statue of Ilona Zrinyi and her son Ferenc Rákóczi II.,who became the leader of the War of Independence against the Habsburgs and Prince of Hungary later
The chapel St. Sofie built by Báthori Zsófia.
You see this view behind or better said inside the fortress wall
The most important part of the fortress, the deep well.
A board to remember Kazinczy , an enlightened opposer of the Habsburgs, a later language reformer, who was prisoned here.
Actualy the fortress served after the defeat of the War of Independence in 1711, as a military barack, prison, and in the last century as a school for agricultur.
It is now a museum. As I was there amoung some indevidual visitors (also Hungarians) a large Ukrainian group arrived by coach visited it.
The other board reminds us the stay of the Holy ( Hungarian ) Crown, which was brought to safety here during the Napoleon Wars.
In the castle exhibitions are : Kuruts uprisings with the Kuruts flag
Some visitors from Austria and locals, speaking Russian, Ukrain, German and even Hungarian language are in the background.
Some of them were obviously born in this area I came to the conclusion after a chat with them in three languages.
Count Bercsényi. the legendary general of Rákóczi 's War of Independence, who followed his Prince in exile to Turkey.
Picture of Károlyi Sándor, who surrended the weapons while Rákóczi was seeking support in Poland.
The view to the Capathians from the castle
Here is the road I came from
View to the new part of the town. Upper court gallery with the exhibition of the Kuruts Uprisings.
We remember here Petõfi's visit in 1847.
On the ground level of the castle is an ethnografical exhibition : traditional cloths.
Embroidery of this area
Torture-chamber is essential in such a fortress.
The steep clime to the castle I came by the bycicle.
After 350 km ride I just arrived before darkness at the garage, where I started my trip.
I had excellent weather, no trouble, apart from a race with a village dog, which I won luckily, not much traffic, not even on the motor road.
The road surface was also OK compared with the Hungarian country roads.
But that qualifies more our roads in Hungary.
So it is an area, where I can return with the bike in the future.
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