Day 3 – Carpathian Mountains. Mainly food

Given the paucity of any fruit or veg in shops here, I was growing concerned about the potential level of scurvy amongst Ukrainians. Lorna had hypothesised that perhaps everyone grew their own. Today we found the market area in an unexplored part of the town. It was strewn with hundreds of smallholders offering their produce. After just 1 day of poor food ( we went mad. Blueberries, blackberries, peas, porcini mushrooms, peaches, eggs, onions…. The girls remarked that it was much more fun than shopping at a supermarket.

I typically go horse riding once a year. Today was that day. All of us plus the children from our Ukrainian tourist neighbours took a two hour trek into the mountains. It was pleasant, but – unlike yesterday’s waterfall trek – not off the beaten track. On our way into the forest, we saw many large houses being constructed. I had earlier taken a run down the mountain into another part of the town and seen scores of derelict buildings that were never completed, presumably the victim of the downturn from a couple of years ago.


We took a 30 mile drive to the Romanian border. We played a game of animal cricket. You score 1 run for every flock of chickens you see on your side of the road; 2 for a dog; 3 for a cat; 4 for a goat; and 6 for a cow. You lose a wicket for every petrol station. Given the rural nature of Ukraine, both sides of the car were soon scoring like England versus India. Tilly and I had racked up 200 for 1 in no time, while Lorna and Nancy were slightly behind but with no wickets lost. It’s a good way of getting the children to look outside their window.

After last night’s (poor) meal, we went to the best restaurant in Yaremche. We wanted to sample Hutsul cuisine, and the Hutsulshchyna restaurant seemed to promise this.


The food menu stretched to a dozen or so pages, all in cyrillic script. Lorna can read Ukrainian, but doesn’t understand a word. Lorna requested something vegetarian and non-tomatoey for me; something steak-like for the children and something traditional for her. Again, she received more or less the same meal as the children. If you happen to be passing through Yaremche, we can recommend this restaurant. My wild mushroom soup had multiple delicate flavours, and my “something with mushrooms and potatoes” (we know very few words in Ukrainian that relate to food) was also great. There was a (grumpy) band playing Cossack-style music, and the restaurant contained all the well groomed people we had seen that day in town. We had been warned that this restaurant was expensive. Certainly, in Ukrainian terms, it was; however, it would have been under £10 a head if Lorna had not had half a bottle of Chablis 2007 (which was £30). Infinitely better value than yesterday’s meal.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Marilyn Bishop on August 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    The Ukraine looks gorgeous. The shame the same cannot be said about the food! I’m looking forward to eating your Italian cuisine so that Lorna’s present wasn’t a complete waste of money!


  2. Posted by Sarah on August 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Did you go over the Romanian border?


    • No, we didn’t. We do know some people who would do this however and claim that it’s a country they have visited….

      They did have an exceptional skiing infrastructure however. You might want to check it out


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