Maestro Kenney’s Adventures in Ukraine – part 2

Monday was a layover day spent studying and walking around Lviv. Breakfast was in the hotel and was typical European fare with juice, cheese, yogurt, eggs — fried and scrambled, meats — hot and cold, some in the form of bacon or sausage. There are thin crepe-style pancakes to which you can add Nutella or fresh jam. Fresh breads, croissants, and other rolls are also available.

I certainly was expecting it to be colder based on a trip to Germany many years ago around this time of year, but the weather has been pleasantly mild. The sun came out for a while and you start to experience the various colors of buildings throughout the city, each of which has many hues.

Walking around mid-day looking for a lunch spot took me through an open-air market. Fresh flowers are in full bloom in the area for there are many vendors peddling their fresh-cut bouquets and plants.  If you are a couple walking by someone selling roses, beware, for they will make you a deal you can’t refuse! However, in the market there is everything from leather goods to lingerie and it is not for the claustrophobic. The aisles are narrow and it hard to get around the merchandise let alone the people shopping. Fortunately, it was just a Monday afternoon, but over a weekend it would seem these places would be teeming with crowded activity.

My lunch consisted of a beet and carrot root salad plus borscht. The latter is claimed by Ukrainians to be indigenous to their county. Both were delicious and filling.

After lunch I wandered around until I found first the opera house and then the Philharmonic concert hall where I’ll be rehearsing and performing this week.

After spending more time with my scores later in the afternoon, I went out for a simple dinner of a slice of pizza. It appears that pizza is extremely popular in Lviv as just about every other restaurant is offering it.  I made a point of taking side streets to discover a tremendous variety of restaurants (Thai and Chinese food are readily available), wine bars, kabob and burger places both in kiosks and sit down varieties, clubs of many sorts, Irish pubs, and more. Even on a Monday night, downtown is a big social gathering for many.

Tomorrow starts the rehearsal process and I am looking forward to getting to work with the musicians in Lviv!

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