Kiev & Ukraine Private Tour Guides of Katherina

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Destinations & Transport in Ukraine

Transfer service. We can meet you at Kiev airports; any railway/bus station; and escort you to your accommodation. You can ask any route, or your own customized route depends of your time frames and necessities.

Transportation methot. It can be used the traditional method of the transportation (by private car / van) or the authentic travel - trains, big buses and "marshrutka" (local buses). If the distances are long or the tour needs several days, we usually combine different transportation methods for the optimization of your time and budget. 

 

There are several types of trains in Ukraine :

- Intercity trains - they are modern, new and high - speeded, with comfortable seats. Intercity trains are like any similar train in Western countries and the same rules apply, except you need to show your passport when tickets are checked. The Intercity express trains between Kyiv and major cities have airplane-style seats, a cafe, functional air-con and pleasant staff. They make few stops between the capital and regional centres.

- Passenger trains (Pasazhyrsky poyizd, also known as poyizd, skory poyizd or shvydky poyizd). These are mainline services travelling long distances between cities, often overnight. They usually have compartments with individual berths for each passenger.
     * Overnight passenger trains - can be modern and/or older, with sleeper couches (1st, 2nd and 3rd classes);
     * Day time passenger trains - sleeper and sitting couches (1st, 2nd and 3rd classes).

 

- Local trains Elektrychka - sitting couches (3rd class only). Elektrychka (prymisky poyizd; prigorodny poyezd in Russian) These are slow trains running between cities and rural areas. They're often used by locals to reach summer cottages and gardens. Elektrychky sometimes leave from a dedicated part of a station set aside for local trains. They are extremely slow and stop at every small station. No air-con and toilets are a hole in the floor.

 

Carriage Classes

All classes have assigned places. Your carriage (vagon) and bunk (mistse) numbers are printed on your ticket.
SV - Spalny vahon (sometimes called Lyux) is a 1st-class couchette (sleeper) compartment for two people. Not available on many routes and books up immediately despite costing two to three times more than kupe.
Kupe - or kupeyny is a 2nd-class sleeper compartment for four people. The most popular class and also the safest and most fun. Sharing the compartment with two or three others is less awkward than sharing with one other (as in 1st class) and there's safety in numbers. Kupe is about twice as costly as platskart.
Platskart - is a 3rd-class sleeper. The entire carriage is open (no separate compartments), with groups of four bunks in each alcove, along with two others in the aisle.
Zahalny vahon (obshchy in Russian) - Fourth-class travel means an upright bench seat for the entire journey. This class of carriage is now rare on Intercity trains, but most elektrychky (slow electric trains) have this kind of seating.
1st/2nd Class - (C1/C2) Carriages on the Intercity services have seating divided into two classes (there's little difference between them).

Each carriage has an attendant called a provodnik (male) or provodnitsa (female), who collects your ticket, distributes sheets, makes morning wake-up calls and serves cups of tea.

 

The State Ukrainian railway company "UKRZALIZNYTSYA"
official website: http://www.uz.gov.ua/en/ 
everything for passengers: http://www.uz.gov.ua/en/passengers/ 
reservation / purchase travel documents (tickets) online: https://booking.uz.gov.ua/en/

 

"Marshrutka" can be translated as "a city route taxi". But in fact, it looks and works like a local public transportation. Are several types of "Marshrutka" (local bus) in Ukraine:
- city route buses;
- suburb route buses;
- intercity buses. 
The size of buses "marshrutka" can be different - from 8 till 20 seats. 

 

Intercity and interregional buses are bigger, than "marshrutka" (till 60 seats), more comfortable, more slowly and more expensive.

 

 

Note: Google Maps shows an ideal time, which need theoretically for driving between towns. But practically sometimes need to spend more time for driving. It depends of the season of the year, traffic situation, weather, roads condition etc. 

 

Kyiv - Lvlv  
550 km by car
Duration by train 5 - 12 hours

 

Kyiv - Kamianets'-Podil's'kyi  
440 km by car
Duration by train 8 - 9 hours

 

Kyiv - Vinnytsia
270 km by car
Duration by train 2,5 - 3,5 hours

 

Kyiv - Zaporizhia (Khortytsia Island)
560 km by car
Duration by train 7,5 - 12,5 hours

 

Kyiv - Odesa
480 km by car
Duration by train 7 - 13,5 hours

 

Kyiv - Chernivtsi
530 km by car
Duration by train 11,5 hours

 

Kyiv - Uman
200 km by car
No train connection

 

Kiev & Ukraine Private Tour Guides


Borsch Pyriatynsky (Pyriatyn Red-Beet Soup) 
Ukrainian cuisine, BorshchSoak the beans overnight, drain, rinse and leave to drain. Cook the beans separately in boiling water, as it might take much time for them to get ready. Cut the red beet and carrot into strips, then place the chopped vegetables into a greased saucepan and braise for a few minutes. Put the braised beet and carrot in boiling water, add chopped root of parsley (celery or parsnip). Peel the potatoes, cut into pieces and also add to the boiling water. Cut the onion into cubes, brown in oil and add to the vegetable broth. Add the beans and the water in which they were cooked to borsch. Clean the cabbage, chop into fine strips and also add to the red-beet soup. Finally, season with salt. Cover the saucepan with borsch with a lid and leave the soup to simmer in a middle flame. Meanwhile, cook the fish or mushrooms. Cut the pre-soaked mushrooms into strips and braise in oil. Cut the fish into pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper, dip in the flour and fry until it is done. Add the mushrooms or fish, or both to the soup and leave for a while to stew. Fry two to three tablespoons of wheat flour in a pre-heated saucepan without grease until the flour acquires a golden tint. When the browned flour has cooled, mix it with lukewarm water. Add carefully to the red-beet soup. When all the ingredients are cooked, season the borsch with the tomato paste according to your taste. If the borsch lacks sweetness - red beet is not always sweet enough - add a few pinches of sugar. If the soup is not sour enough, add a tablespoon of vinegar or tomato paste. Borsch tastes best hot with pampushky (dumplings) dipped in garlic sauce.
(4 liter water, 1 red beet, 1 carrot, I onion, 2 potatoes, 1 root of parsley or parsnip, or half root of celery, 1/2 medium-sized cabbage, 1 cup dried beans, 5-6 pieces fried fish or dried mushrooms, 2-3 tablespoons wheat flour, tomato paste, salt, oil)


Borsch Halytsky (Halychyna Red-Beet Soup) 
Cook broth of bacon, mushrooms and onion. When the broth is ready, remove the bacon and mushrooms and save. Bake or boil the red beets in jackets. Cool them off, peel, chop into fine strips and add to the borsch. Pour the red-beet kvass and bring the borsch to the boil. Season with finely chopped garlic, salt, pepper and sugar. Traditionally in Halychyna the borsch served without the body only the broth has been considered a delicacy. Serve the red-beet soup hot with ears' dumplings, crackers, buckwheat groats or beans. The bacon, which has been removed from the borsch, is used as filling for Christmas pancakes or pyrohy, while the mushrooms are stuffed into ear' dumplings. 
(1,5 liter water, 2 large red beets, 300-400 g bacon, 7-10 dried mushrooms, 1 onion, 1/2 liter red-beet kvass (sour drink made of red beets), salt, pepper, sugar, 2-3 garlic cloves)

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