A little trip on the weekends.
General information about the city.
Kamianets-Podilskyi is an ancient town located in the Khmelnytskyi region. He is among the top three in the list of Ukrainian cities with the largest number of historical monuments. The old city consists of old architectural buildings that reflect cultures of the peoples who lived here at different times. The city has a very interesting location: it was built on the peninsula, the entire area of which is 121 hectares, fully washed by the River Smotrych. If to look from a height of bird’s flight, on the cliff you can see a small miracle of stone. Because of this, many called Kamenetz-Podolsk “flower on stone”.
How we got there and first impression.
The distance from Kyiv is about 420 km. The City day Celebration takes place on may 20-21. Every year these two days are a festival of balloon flights. My friend and I for two years were planning to visit this festival and, finally, we have bought a mini-tour to this city. Departure was on Friday night on the bus, we arrived in the city at the morning, around 8 a.m. The guide offered us to have breakfast at one of the local cafes, then we were approached by our tour guide and we went to explore the city. Kamianets – Podilskyi despite its small population density is considered a city of students. The concentration of young people is quite large. And so, I must admit, the city is very cozy and diverse in terms of landscape. With a population of 100 thousand people, here is quite colorful and fun. In the heart of city center a lot of food – courts, especially plenty of offers to taste cooked barbecue by the locals. There was a concert, where local artists perform in the Central Square. You can find also many “islands”, which offers tours around the city and beyond it.
What to do.
Interesting enough it seemed the offer – a trip over rough terrain with overcoming water obstacles, ascents and descents on a military APC (armored personnel carrier). Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we were able to observe only the visitors, it looked really cool and extreme. The cost for 1 person is 150 UAH (Bakota, we have opted for the trip to Bakota). As our tour guide announced that we do not have time, we decided to show the skills of time management and get a taxi that would drive to this lovely place. Distance from Kamenetz – Podolsk to Bakota — 40 km with poor road quality, and it takes around an hour to reach it. Taxi is best to book directly with a condition there and back + the waiting time. In total, the trip for 3 people cost us 150 UAH per person. The taxi driver was local, the man, who gladly shared with us information about how and where the locals have a rest, and also what else is worth visiting. One of his recommendations was to ride on a boat on the Dniester River in Bakota, yeah, after seeing this place, I really agreed that this would be a great idea.
General information about the place.
Bakota is absolutely clean from infrastructure places, wild and it attracts. Bakota history ended in 1981, when in the course of construction novodniestrovsky HPP (hydroelectric power plants), the population was deported to the neighboring town where it became completely flooded. In the era of Kievan Rus, they build a monastery between the rocks, which part of it remains to the present time. Now it is popular among both – pilgrims and tourists. We spent an hour, it was enough time to take few photos and discover all the beauty of the place. Of course, it was possible to go down to the shore of the pond, but it will take many hours, so we took the decision to go back to the city and attend the launching of the balloons at sunset.
Back in town.
Back in town, we noticed that the number of people has increased. It was hot so we decided to take a cold coffee and take a seat with a view of the castle, over which, in fact, will be launched balloons. Speaking of coffee, as it turned out, to find the cold one it was rather difficult. The town is small, so the barista’s skills are limited. Only the bartender at Reikartz Kamianets-Podilskyi hotel agreed to do it, so keep that in mind. We sat outside on the lookout in expectation of the launch of balloons. Around us were many young people, the same families who came with their children to see the event. Launch balls occur or early in the morning from 6 am to 9 or in the evenings from 6 to 9 PM. The fortress included in the list of 7 wonders of Ukraine, and the evening lighting is one of the best in Europe, and it worths seeing it. Speaking about prices, the entrance is for 25 UAH but it is available only during the day because they close it in the evening. It is also possible to fly in a balloon, this year the cost was about 2000 UAH. Finding something to eat the street food, except barbecue, is really difficult. We bought a sandwich that costs 50 UAH, but it, too, was with the eat from the kebabs.
As a conclusion with my advice.
The launching of balloons is something incredibly beautiful, romantic and knowingly chose the place over the fortress. The general view is fascinating, worth coming and seeing. As a conclusion, I can say that one day is fully enough to explore the city, at maximum two if you desire to explore the city and visit Khotyn. Khotyn (11 thousand inhabitants) is the oldest city in the Chernivtsi region with a rich history, which recently celebrated its 1000th anniversary. There, you can find the oldest fortress and also in the neighborhood you can stop in the Chernivtsi city, it is popular for its University, which was formerly the residence of the Orthodox metropolitans of Bukovina and Dalmatia. We left around 9PM to go back to Kiev, by the way lifehack – in Ukraine, if you take an inexpensive group tour for the weekend, before boarding the bus it makes sense to ask the guide if there are free seats, so you have the chance to reserve two seats and sleep at night more comfortably.