Thursday, November 27, 2008
Day 3: Uzhorod, Ukraine: Sleepy Day
By the third day we were all very sleep deprived. Chris had to be with his band, but the kids and I could sleep in, so we did. The trouble was we had no cellphones, did not speak the language, and knew next to no one. While this gave me a tad bit of anxiety it was actually quite nice to be in circumstances that required all of my brain capacity so that none was left to ruminate on my personal melancholia.
We wondered through the quaint town coming to this square where an enterprising business person had set up a car and bike rental service for kids. For 5 hrvnya per 5 minutes we rented bikes and terrorized random passerby with our superior driving skills.
There was a festive holiday mood on the stone boardwalk. The banners hang over the walking bridge across the Uzh River.
Later we went to a museum. There was an open air portion, a castle and a small art gallery and souvenir shop. Chris and I really liked this piece. The Mama is so happy.
Xander liked the embroidery.
We strolled through a beautiful outdoor museum with housing and buildings from Ukraine's history. XuMei noticed that this, and other log cabins looked just like the ones described in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House Books. I just finished reading these books to Xander and XuMei last year and we had wished we could go see the museum in Missouri where Pa's fiddle and other artifacts still remain. In Ukraine we saw wheat grindstones and plows, yolks, bedsteads, hitching posts, even a fiddle. How ironic that we went 5683 miles (straight as the bird flies) to visualize tools, and objects from our country's short history. Photography was not permitted inside the buildings.
A wooden church spire with the telltale onion shape.
This was probably a chicken coup but it was fun to imagine that little people lived in this tiny hut in the backyard of one of the cabins.
Iryna, M.D. and Vice Director of the Rehabilitation Center of Uzhorod, invited us all back to her house for dessert and aperitifs.
Steve, Hank, Sara, Jack, Theresa and Logan above, with Vita on the end below.Ira worked very hard to arrange our Tour of Uzhorod, set up gigs, keep us in translators, feed and entertain us all.
Her home was beautiful, the walls covered, salon style in art her father had collected through the years. Liesl, Hailey and Jolene heard the story of the acquisition of the gold mirror behind them. I believe it may have been payment to Ira's Father for services rendered. He was also a medical doctor.
Ira lives with her parents, both retired doctors, and teenage daughter as well as this little munchkin named Jennifer Lopez!
XuMei took this photo of me. Can you tell, I liked the cake.?