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Friday, 19 October 2012

Ukraine day 8 - Our last day in Poltava.


Our last day in Poltava blessed us with perfect weather again. Blue sky and sunshine. I burned holes in my only windcheater at the Dutch TT in June and haven't replaced it yet. I haven't needed too. The weather has been brilliant.

As we left our room the hotel staff were carrying a large floral bouquet which was obviously for a wedding. Suzanne's eyes lit up and she spoke to the girl carrying the flowers. Next thing we were shown to the room of the wedding couple and shown all the decorations.

Pretty exciting eh guys?

Our first stop was a weaving factory about half an hour away in Reshetilovka. This factory used to employ hundreds of people but closed down some time ago. The new owner, Sergy, has got it up and running again and is in stage one of his plan. Stage two is a new building with more room and then he will employ more people. He is now fitting out the new building and moving in very soon. More jobs. It's a good story showing this country's resilience. He has a web site: and it's in English.

On with the tour. Suzanne tried her hand at weaving a rug and within  few minutes had gone from "How do they follow the pattern?" to "Hey this is really easy."

 They also make traditional Ukrainian clothes that are embroidered.

Suzanne's rug weaving apprenticeship commenced here. So this goes through here, behind three strands, then out, along four strands, then...and so on.

Oh! I get it now.

Hopefully I can get her a job here when we come back.

Mykhailo then took us to a museum which showed the history of weaving in the area. Sounds boring eh? Well it wasn't, it was actually quite interesting.

 Some of the weaving in the museum.

Large rug that was woven many years ago. 

These rugs showed amazing detail.

Traditional Ukrainian shirt. Do you think it would suit me.

Some of these shirts are more that sixty years old. 

 I can see Suzanne wearing this.

A little bit of folk art. (Insert Suzanne here . .  great face & body painting inspiration)

We were treated to another song from Mykhailo.
This time a traditional folk song. He really does have a great voice.

Then we popped in to an art gallery next door. This gallery displayed art work produced by local art students. Wow, there were some good pieces here.

 Suzanne liked this,
but I think it was just because it had an owl in it.

 This was Suzanne's favourite. The detail in this was very intricate.

 I'm a realist, so I loved this one.

 I thought this little guy was kinda cool.

 Suzanne loved this as well.

With the museum and art gallery out of the way we headed back into Poltava. It was our last chance to shop for souvenirs so we found a market. What do you buy in Ukraine as a souvenir? Babushka dolls of course. Imagine this. A range of about seventy different babushka dolls, most with ten smaller dolls inside, and two women trying to decide which ones to buy. The Poor guy opened so many dolls he had RSI by the time the purchases were completed. 

Babushka dolls and a few extras.
As usual, nothing for me.

With that job done it was a long lunch, and a pleasant walk back to the hotel. Then of course it was time for dinner.

In the lift on our way out for another feed.

It was back to our favourite Ukrainian restaurant for another huge food night. 

I think it's pronounced Kosatchka. At least that's what I said to the taxi driver and he took us there.

Suzanne tucking into, you guessed it, more Varenike.

Me and my best "little" sister.

At least I didn't order dessert like Ron. Ron decided he would have some ice cream. He ordered the "Ice Cream rainbow" and out came SEVEN scoops of ice cream. Ron managed. Just.

Ron's "Ice Cream Rainbow".

Suzanne went crazy with the camera and took a hundred photos of the chandelier with small cutouts in it. Apparently it was inspirational for body painting.

 Suzanne's chandelier. ??? (insert Suzanne . . . the close ups are awesome for painting inspiration !! I can see a Ukrainian themed Body Painting around the corner)

Then the entertainment started. A Ukrainian duo who played and sang a mixture of material. There was a one hryvnia (about 11 cents) surcharge per person on the meal for entertainment. What a great idea. 

Our duo.

The only other table that was there was full of women with only one guy. The live music started, and then the dancing. I'm not sure how but I ended up being dragged up onto the dance floor by, wait for it... Svetlana.

Me busting a move with my new friend Svetlana.

That was another day done and dusted, and our last in Poltava. Our time here has been fantastic and it's certainly a place we'd like to come back to. If we can we'll ride back here.

Tomorrow it's back on the train to Kiev, and another second cousin, Alla.

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