The border was not to bad:
Stop here, show passport, give bike number, get piece of paper, go on, stop, give passport and bike papers, get stamp from a guy in cabin number 1, move 3 meters and give passport and bike papers to lady in cabin number 2, window closes, wait a few minutes, get back halve of documents, ask for the rest, had to gate, give piece of paper, and I am in the Ukraine.
I was expecting armed to the teeth border guards taking my bike and bags apart looking for dutch “special” import. But all they wanted to know is what the missile-launching-control-box on my handelbars was for. Once I showed them it was only a MP3 player they laughed and send me on my way.
I stopped at a parking lot and was greeted by a Ukrainian biker with “welcome to Ukraine” he was waiting for his mate to clear customs as he bought a trans-alp in Poland. Immediately all nerves were gone and I could not stop smiling until I entered L’viv.
Why? Well because the roads changed into this:
Me and the bike got a good “shake-everything-apart” massage but we got to the hotel in one piece (OK, two pieces, me being 1 and the bike being 2)
After I checked in I contacted Mr. Blackside and we had a business lunch together in an old freemasons place right across the town-hall.
He helped me get a local phone-number and a city-map. Since he had to get back to work I went for a walk around the city and up to the high-castle to get a view of the city. Mr. Blackside said it was in the park and that it was the highest place in L’viv. We in Holland would have called it alps covered in forest. It was quit the climb to get up there but the view was indeed beautiful:
L’viv is moving. It is not like Wroclaw were I was stuck in traffic but here people are out there, smiling and it is total chaos. It is beautiful!
While writing this I am sitting at the hotels restaurant outside in nice weather and I just had me an amazing shashliek and although I miss Sarah she will be glad not to sleep next to me as the dish was covered in fresh unions.
This is a pic for my dad, as it might bring back some memories:
It is weird to see Gaz trucks and old Lada’s driving around when there are also brand new BMW 5, 7 series and big new SUV. In Holland in the live span of an average car/motorcycle we probably never have to change the shock-absorbers but here I think those things are high up there on the recommended spare parts. Even a small Polo sounds like a 10 ton truck coming by.
So far, albeit only the first day, I like it here. People are smiling, helpful and talk-active.
I contacted Alex from the horizons-unlimited forum and it seems he has time, space and beer for me coming weekend in Vinnitsa so who am I to refuse, see you in a few days Alex.
Also a special thanks to Vlad, see you in Odessa (I took out your phone number for privacy purposes)
Goodnight my friends