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A journal from a Belarusian girl who likes camping, hitch-hiking and crazy people

How I met the road. Part 1

BELARUS | Monday, 5 May 2014 | Views [176] | Scholarship Entry

Three years ago I sat at home surfing the net when I achieved a proposal to go hitch-hiking across the Ukraine with 5 random people. I'm not sure I was in the mind but I agreed... And it is still the most right decision I've ever made!

We met each other in Brest, crossed the Belarusian-Ukranian border by train and came to Lviv in the early morning. As you may know Ukraine was divided between Russian Empire and Austria for a long time, so the architecture in Western and Eastern parts is really different. And Lviv is the best example of typical Central European city with it narrow paving streets, small stone and brick buildings and cozy trams. I can tell a lot of facts and legends about it but this story isn't about one city, but about the journey =) So just believe that one day wasn't enough for us and we decided to stay there for a few days. We found an apartment to rent, left there our big bags and plunged into friendly atmosphere of the city.

It's important to say that on the second our day there was an Airborne Troops Day. Traditionally it is the day when military guys get completely drunk before lunch and wallow in fountains. Just for fun we went to the Rynok Square (another name is Market Square) with the biggest fountain and joined them. And you know what? Comparing to us brutal soldiers looked like wet humsters, so laughing and crazy we were =)

When we bathed enough we returned to our apartment, had a quick lunch and went towards new adventures. This is the moment in my story where main miracle begins: my first hitch-hiking experience. Our group divided into three couples and stood along the road. For six hours trucks' and cars' drivers picked us up for different distances (from 10 to 100 km), some of them talked to us, some didn't, but almost everyone said smth like: "I envy you. You're young and free to travel as much as you want, I'm too old for this". I heard it and smiled every time, because the only borders for a man is the man himself.

Our second (after Lviv) stop was Tarakanov Fortress: little-known fortress in the forerst near Trakanovo village. It was built in the 17th century, out of use since the middle of the 18th century, and occupied alternately by the Nazis, the Soviets during the II WW. Unfortunately there was no reconstructions since that time, so for now the fortress is partly ruined. Locals stand for the renovation but in local budgets there is always not enough money.

Oops, few characters left, so wait for the part 2 =)

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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15 hours of road. That's how drivers saw me. May, 2014

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