The Anonymous Widower

Between Bratislava And Kiev By Train

This article on Railway Gazette is entitled Slovakia – Ukraine passenger service to launch in June.

This is the first three paragraphs.

Slovakian national operator ZSSK and its Ukrainian counterpart UZ have agreed to launch a through passenger service on June 9 on the 146 km route between Košice and Mukachevo via the Čierna nad Tisou/Chop border crossing.

This follows a trial train which ran on April 2. Services are expected to leave Košice at 09.10 and 12.01 and Mukachevo at 13.54 and 17.20, with a journey time of around 4 h including the border formalities.

There will be connections at Košice with trains to and from Žilina, Bratislava and the Czech Republic, and at Mukachevo with trains to Lviv, Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa.

This new train, will open up a new route between Bratislave and Kiev.

  • Košice is a large city, that has been European City of Culture.
  • Mukachevo looks to be a place to while away a day and according to hotels.com, there are well-rated rooms in the town.
  • I should think some knowledge of Hungarian or Ukrainian would help.

I would do the trip by flying to Kiev and after visiting Chernobyl, I would come home by train via this new route to Bratislava.

I’ve already done Bratislava to London by train, as part of my Home Run From Budapest in 2013.

You can find all the posts in Flying To Budapest And Getting The Train Back.

If anybody wants to visit Chernobyl with me and come back from the Ukraine by train, hopefully, I shall be doing this trip sometime in the summer.

May 14, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Was Flight MH 17 Over Ukraine?

There’s an old saying, that says there are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.

Over the last week or so, there have been reports of the rebels in the East of Ukraine shooting down Ukranian planes. An ex-British Airways pilot on the BBC this morning, felt that planes should avoid the area. In fact, the BBC has also stated that some airlines have been avoiding the area anyway.

But as Simon Calder, the respected travel journalist, said on the BBC this morning, if you’re flying long haul, you often fly over a war zone.

And then today because of the thunderstorms in the UK, there have been delays and diversions of airliners. So planes are avoiding extreme weather, but not war zones!

But I wouldn’t fly in any plane that went over a war zone, where the participants had the capability and especially the record of shooting down high-flying aircraft.

I sometimes think that my policy of holidaying in the area covered by my EHIC card is a sensible one, because of my health history. There’s still eight countries in that area, that I haven’t visited and they include dangerous places like Finland and Leichtenstein.

July 19, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Is Now The Time To Visit Chernobyl?

Chernobyl isn’t that dangerous a place to visit, unless you go very close.  Especially, if you go on a properly organised tour.

Today, the BBC web site has a report on the construction of the steel umbrella to go over the reactor.

I’ve looked up tours to Chernobyl and it would appear they run daily from Kiev according to this web page.

So an ideal itinerary would be to fly to Odessa to see the Potemkin Steps and the Black Sea coast.

Then it would be a train to Kiev and after Kiev and Chernobyl, it would be a series of trains home, by way of Warsaw and Berlin.

If anybody fancies the trip, just put a comment here.

Only those with a serious love of travel, trains and engineering need apply. Being slightly off your trolley might be a good idea too!

November 27, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , | 1 Comment

Would I Go Back To Budapest?

Budapest is certainly a city, that would be worth a second visit. My visit was just a passing one and I didn’t really have time to do the city justice.

I didn’t find any major problems, but I did find the Hungarian language and currency difficult.

In the former, it was difficult to relate street and station names to the map you are using and in the second, as the currency is about 350 forints to the pound, this made purchasing things difficult.

As regards the second, you can understand, why the euro was embraced as an idea and why some countries either use or closely link their currency to the US dollar.

After all, when I’m in a euro or dollar country, if you treat these as pounds, all you’ll get is a bit more change.  Using forints was a bit like using lire in Italy some years ago.

Budapest would make an ideal base to explore the Balkans and places like the Ukraine by rail, as there is a comprehensive list of places that trains go to from the main railway station.

Budapest Departures

Note Timisoara in the Departures display above.

You can apparently get easily from Budapest to Kiev in the Ukraine, so I would assume the reverse is possible. Ever since I saw the film; Battleship Potemkin, at school, I’ve always wanted to see the steps in Odessa, where the famous scene from the film takes place.

I did think about going during Euro 2012, but we had the Olympics coming up.

So if anybody wants to go to Odessa and Kiev and then come home by train, send me a message. I’m going to do it, to prove it is possible.

Remember though, I won’t be doing it in cheap hotels or Second Class.

Looking at Seat61; the bible for all train travelling, I’d probably fly to Budapest, take the train to Kiev and then after the detour to Odessa, I’d come home via Warsaw.

Note

April 14, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

England Against Ukraine at Cricket

Radio 5 has announced this morning that an English touring cricket club is in Ukraine.  Apparently there are eight cricket clubs in Kiev.

I can’t help being reminded of the very funny Michael Bentine sketch, where he was taking cricket to the natives, in some unnamed country.  The last line as he held up a box, was.

And this is 27s. and 6d.

Classic humour from the only Peruvian born in Watford.

June 24, 2012 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Did You See That One Sepp?

I would suspect that Sepp Blatter may have seen the Ukrainian ghost goal last night for two reasons.

Firstly, even it had been scored,  it wouldn’t have changed who went through to the next round.

But of course, he did see it, as it was against England, his bete-noir, who are always complaining about the suspender-loving Swiss idiot.

To be charitable to the England players and officials, they have not denied it was a goal. After all, we have a lot to gain from the Hawk Eye technology to check these problems. as it is developed by a company, based in Winchester. But after seeing Sepp’s judgements on this matter over the last few years, I suspect he’ll give his seal of approval to anybody but this company. Although it is rumoured that the company are working on a system especially for Sepp, that detects if women are wearing Stockings.

But what was the extra linesman doing on the goal-line? Answers on the back of a postage stamp please. He certainly wasn’t looking.

June 20, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fake Sheikh Strikes Again

With the demise of the News of the World, the fake sheikh, Mazher Mahmood,  seems to have struck again for its sister paper The Sunday Times. It’s reported here on the BBC.

The Sunday Times alleges, during a two-month investigation in which reporters posed as Middle Eastern ticket touts, it found corruption involving people representing 54 separate countries.

Note the Middle Eastern ticket touts!

Obviously, these tickets weren’t distributed correctly, but then that had nothing to do with the London organisers. Yet again, Olympic rules are framed to feather the nests of members of the Olympic family.

I haven’t received my Sunday Times yet, but it will be explosive reading. They do name some of the countries on their web site and the list contains the usual suspects. The BBC reports that the Greeks actually asked for more tickets, because they had siold so many.   This is from the BBC report.

Accusations include an allegation a member of the Greek Olympics Committee said he had “persuaded” Lord Coe, chairman of the London organising committee, Locog, to give Greece more tickets on the pretext demand had outstripped supply.

So did the Germans fund all of these Greeks to come to London?

I hope LOCOG trace the tickets that went to these countries and withdraw them, so that suckers will pay thousands of pounds for a worthless piece of card.  There’s a fat chance of that.

After all the BBC has already exposed someone from Ukraine in this report.

June 17, 2012 Posted by | News, Sport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Are The Frogs Floundering?

Let’s face it the French haven’t the best record as fighters when it gets wet; Trafalgar, Copenhagen, Quiberon Bay.  And they don’t seem to be doing too well on a rain-effected pitch in Donetsk.

Could Hodsgon’s luck be thinking about turning as France need to beat the Ukraine.

June 15, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Is the Ukraine the Place for Euro-2012?

I have just read this article about the Ukraine on the BBC.

England will be playing their three qualifying group matches for Euro-2012 in the Ukraine, although not anywhere near where Yulia Ymoshrenko is imprisoned. The Times also reports bomb explosions in the city.

I think that it could be a bit of a difficult trip for England and especially their supporters.

Remember too, that the patron saint of the Ukraine is Saint Andrew.

Talk about a baptism of fire for England’s new manager. Fire must be fought with fire! Even if only it the of the metaphorical sort! So the England team should contain the two English heroes of the Nou Camp; Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard.  And of course Stuart Pearce must be on the touchline! Even if he’s just number two in name to some overpriced so-called man with the right experience!

April 28, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , , | Leave a comment