Saturday, 28 December 2013

Day 215 - through Vinnytsia to Kamianets-Poliitsky - Thurs 26 Sept

Day 215 - through Vinnytsia  to Kamianets-Poliitsky - Thurs 26 Sept
So cold this morning turned on both heater and hot water, quickly heats camper but doesn't get into truck cabin to dispel window condensation. Not good weather for delaying, so on road early (after baked beans on toast) and  into Vinnytsia for fuel, water, toilet, rubbish dump - finally the service stations are supplying all these facilities in one place! Decided we were travelling well, over 400+ kms a day, so will go through Carpathians, the more scenic route - Yay! 

Another police check – documents demanded, then "Robert Bruce", on your way... Geese, turkeys, one-cow families, tugging them along on a rope. Bright green cabbages on stalls alongside bold orange pumpkins, and the odd tractor to add to the photographic collection. 

2nd police check of the day, tried to hand over documents, No! officer hit camper on side with baton, obviously wanted door of camper opened to see inside, nod, wave baton imperiously “on your way”. Bavarian influence creeping into architecture, particularly in forested areas. Everyone in long coats and berets or knitted caps. Some parasitic growth in trees, can see easily now they are losing leaves. Truckloads of apples lining road to juice factory. 

Villages have stick nests up on poles - migratory storks, white with long red beaks and red legs if ceramic versions are to be believed. Stopped in Kami-Pol to order lunch, chicken and beef with hot vegetables in sauce turned out to be chicken and chips with salad – hmm, close! Off to Kamianets-Poliitsky to find the castle, one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine, we were looking for a high hill as other fortresses, but came across it almost in a low gorge, on a peninsula connected by a narrow neck of land, with the Smotrych River curling around all sides. We were approached by a guide in the carpark who looked remarkably like our niece Shirley, so of course we had to accept! She had good English and was brisk but thorough. 

 Starting with a French map from 1691, we toured the tunnels, dungeon (and its version of Robin Hood), wells, towers, and heard the very chequered history of battles, conquerors, rules, razing, rebuilding by Polish, Russians etc, and demolition of most of the town's churches down from 90+ to a mere 13 today, most of the spires were able to be viewed from the fortress. 

Later we drove around the city to view churches, went into Catholic quarter and inside church just as mass was commencing. Narrow but beautifully decorated interior.  


Urine smell out in cobblestone streets of Old Town, which is gradually being restored and upgraded. Found pizza place for dinner and wifi - sent web message off to Fuso. Crossed bridge to fort one last time and camped in bare hills looking down over lights of towers and spires, as thunderstorm blew in and over fairly quickly. Put away shopping, rearranged the deck chairs, showered and bed to read. 

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