The first, and most important, thing we did today was sleep in. Sometimes you just need a day to rest and recover.
A note about the picture above. Chernivtsi has a lot of stray dogs, though none of them are very large dogs. Often, when you are walking down the sidewalk, they will trot along next to you for a bit — especially if you’re a sucker like me and pet them. To deal with the issue of so many strays, the city has initiated a program where they will spay or neuter any dog they catch, but they do not have a facility in which to hold them and instead release them back into the city. The idea is that the dogs will not be able to reproduce and the population of strays will eventually dwindle.
After sleeping until late, we grabbed breakfast around 11:00 and then headed out into the city at 13:00. Our first goal was to visit a go-kart track near a park. We’re on foot, so it takes about thirty minutes to walk there, but the weather isn’t bad ( high 40’s and sun ) and the walk is pleasant.
The go-kart track was small, but sufficient, and the karts had enough power to really go. We bought five minutes, which was roughly 10 laps, for 70 UAH ( about $4 ). And yes, of course I won the race.
After the karts, we noticed a soccer game being played on a nearby field and decided to stop to watch for a bit. The skill level at play wasn’t amazing, as it was two teams of probably 13–15 year old guys, but it was still fun to watch for a bit.
The coach of the team in white was apparently yelling some rather hilarious things at his players, which the guys translated for me occasionally. The only goal we saw was from the red team on a penalty kick. We left at halftime.
We walked down to the city center and got some dinner at Bier Platz ( the chicken there is really very good ) while figuring out the details of a plan I thought of earlier in the morning.
Because of my various goals to achieve before leaving Ukraine, it became necessary for me to travel back to Ivano-Frankivsk tomorrow ( Sunday ). It doesn’t make any sense for me to go there and then back to Chernivtsi for only one day, so we are going to pack up tonight and move to Ivano-Frankivsk for two days. We managed to get a full refund on my Chernivtsi hotel for the last two nights, find a great hotel in Ivano-Frankivsk that will actually save me money, and my train ticket on Tuesday is still valid as I’ll still need to go to Lviv ( the train goes through IF on the way to Lviv anyway and the price difference for starting from IF instead of Chernivtsi is less than $1.00 ). In fact, in total, I will actually save about $15 making this change — even after buying the train ticket from Chernivtsi to Ivano-Frankivsk for Sunday morning.
So that’s it for today. I have to be up at 5am to catch the train, but I’m excited. Look for more tomorrow. Only 3 days left in Ukraine.