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Ukraine: Kalachivka, Petrivs'k, and Maloiaroclavets' Pershyi


Jun 29th, 2008, 09:07 PM
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Ukraine: Kalachivka, Petrivs'k, and Maloiaroclavets' Pershyi

My wife and I (in our 60's but young at heart, active, and adventurous) are planning a trip next May to Kalachivka, Petrivs'k, and Maloiaroclavets' Pershyi (all in Ukraine) to see where her mother came from. They are very small villages, northwest of Odessa, near the Moldova border. The nearest somewhat larger towns are Tarutyne, Ukraine and Bessarabka, Moldova.

Arrangements for much of the trip will be with a group that organizes trips for people of Beassarabian ancestry and we will likely have an interpreter/driver. They are looking into the possibility of arranging a short homestay for us.

However, we're usually totally independent travellers, so are interested in finding out some things on our own.

Does anyone have any hints of things we should see and do while in Odessa, while driving to the towns above, or when at the villages?

Is there anything nearby in Moldova that we should see? Are Americans able to cross the Ukraine/Moldova border at Bessarabka, Moldova?

If we arrange a homestay, what sort of gifts are likely to be appreciated in addition to the normal payment both at the homestay and other places where they may be appropriate?

What are some of the cultural things we should be aware of (do's and don't's)?

Any thoughts, advice, etc. about any of it will be highly appreciated.

(And yes, we do realize that it seems to be a very poor subsistence agriculture area)
elbegewa is offline  
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Aug 27th, 2008, 07:15 PM
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hello folks:

my wife and I (79 and 70, but young at heart, active and adventurous) are similiarly heading for that part of the world in October.

Following a Russian river cruse, we're off to Belarus and the little town of Domachevo on the Polish border...wife's mom was born and raised there...going to check out the cemetery for famly names, and stay in nearby Brest on the River Bug. The red tape for a Belarus visa is almost comical...shades of the old USSR which I visited twice, as far east as Uzbek SSR. I had to write an essay explaining why we wanted to go to Belarus, where and what we'll be doing, etc. We're flying St. Pete to Minsk and train-ing on to Brest...then training back to Minsk, and flying to Kiev. My ancestors (dad and family) lived in Kiev and vicinity...so I'll go through the usual genealogical gymnastics while there. On prior trips I didn't have a chance to get to Kiev.

No, you're not old at all. kids!

Have a meaningful, nostalgic, rewarding visit to Bessarabka...have someone play the spirited folk tune "Bessarabia" for you. (I visited Moldova when it was Moldovan SSR, too...ugly and dirt poor).

stu t.
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tower is offline  
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Aug 27th, 2008, 09:08 PM
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I visited Ukraine and Moldova in '06 - trip report at www.wilhelmswords.com/eur2006 and pix at kwilhelm.smugmug.com/Travel/264391. I think that EU and US citizens no longer need a visa for Moldova, however, try to avoid any border crossing that involves Transnistria as you will have to bribe the border guards.

I enjoyed Odessa (along with the other places I visited in Ukraine), but I wouldn't say it had any blockbuster sights. If you have time you might want to try to visit the Crimea.
thursdaysd is offline  
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Sep 5th, 2008, 12:52 PM
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If you don't speak the language, then getting out on your own isn't much of an option. Although, just walking around Odesa near the Steps and the park (near the Opera house and Mayor's house) can be nice as long as your hotel is nearby and you don't get lost. Arrange to catch an opera or play if you can.

You may want to go out of town and see the Odesa caves, but his will probably need to be arranged and done by a guide.

The following can also be of help while in Odesa (for a charge, of course):


DB is offline  
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Sep 5th, 2008, 02:18 PM
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"If you don't speak the language, then getting out on your own isn't much of an option." Just not so! I don't speak Russian or Ukrainian, but I traveled through Ukraine on my own. I did make my hotel arrangements ahead of time, and have an agency buy my train ticket for Simferapol to Odessa, but I got myself from Odessa to Chisinau by bus simply by turning up at the bus station and buying a ticket. Ukraine is no harder than anywhere else, except you do need know which areas speak Russian and which speak Ukrainian so you can say thank-you in the "right" language.
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