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Ukraine - Uman

Leaving Odessa on the bus going north we passed by many very large farms with tractors and machinery much like we see in the U.S. This was in contrast with the little strip farms in western Ukraine. There is a four lane highway from Odessa to Kyiv that dileniates east and west Ukraine as does the Dnipro river. We arrived at the Uman bus station in good order and found a little hut serving half pints of beer in plastic go-cups. Nourishment for the traveler. Now to find a hotel. All the maps in the bus station weren't any help. Just by the station was a political campaign tent so we asked the young man in it if he knew where a hotel was. He took off his vest, took us across the street and into the patio of a cafe. In Ukranian he explained we needed a hotel. The owner came out and there was a short discussion whereupon the young man turned us over to the owner. He took us out the door to a building behind the bar/cafe which had a "HOTEL" sign on it in Ukranian. Upstairs he opened the door into our mini suite. This is a new hotel with five rooms and it has been open two months. After showing us around I asked how much. He said 400uah a night so 1200uah for our stay. That's fifty U.S. dollars a night. No breakfast befor 10:AM. There are two things to do in Uman, visit the magnificent Sofiyivka Park and Rabbi Nachman's tomb and center. We did both. The Sofiyivka Park is a hug botanical garden. I've never seen so many different kinds of oak trees. Its easy to spend most of a day there. Rabbi Nachman began the Breslov movement of Hasidism. Not being Jewish, but open minded, we walked to the Jewish community where his tomb and study center is located. Lots of the signs are in Yiddish and Ukranian or just Yiddish. I visited the men's area of the center. My wife waited rather that use the wonems entrance.

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