Saturday, 8 September 2007

Kiwi or Orange?

Originally posted on 18th August 2007....

No... you haven't opened the wrong blog. Stick with me and all will become clear!

One of the things I am enjoying most about following Mark's journey is the stimulus it is providing for discovering new places. Mark crossed the border from Poland into the Ukraine yesterday and this morning has been heading east through the country.
Today, he was rounding the city of L'viv. Now, you might think that Geography teachers know about most places in the world but I'll let you into a secret - there are loads of places I've never heard of and L'viv is one of them! However, maybe it's the geographer in me that makes me want to find out about unknown places and these days, thanks to the Internet, that's an easy task.
First port of call was Flickr where I simply put 'Lviv' into the search box and up came any number of lovely images, this one included... Then, having got a grip on what the place looked like, I needed to find out more about it. Putting 'Lviv' into Google produced lots of links , among them this one to its entry in Wikipedia. Reading that produced lots of information..... and some trivia! This is a city five times the size of Dundee which I've never heard of . It has a fascinating history, a city centre with such wonderful architecture that UNESCO have designated it a world heritage site, parts of 'Schindler's List were filmed in Lviv and it is the home city of the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest winner.

I met Mrs Beaumont, Mark's mother, this morning. She had spoken by phone with Mark last night and it was wonderful to get some first hand news. Apparently the road surface in the Ukraine is generally appalling, potholes are rife and so there is the constant danger of falling. Mark's main concern, however was his inability to read the Cyrillic alphabet which is used in many Slavic languages, Ukranian included. Map reading and place names present a whole new challenge and if you are thirsty.... would you know what the drinks machine (photo from the Flickr search on Lviv) said?

Kiwi or Orange anyone?

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