Chernivtsi and beyond

I’ve wasted enough time on this registration business, so I decide not to hitchhike and instead take a night bus to the Ukrainian town of Chernivtsi. It’s a city with a very interesting and multicultural history which still shows. Street names and plaques on houses remind passers-by of a time when the city was home to many different groups of people. There are still several ‘cultural homes’ – centers for different national groups. The Jewish home currently houses a museum.

But it’s time to move on. For the last leg of my journey, by now a three and a half year trip, I want to hitchhike in the UK. It’s a bit out of a detour to get to Holland that way, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. However, Dover is over two thousand kilometers away and I don’t dare to estimate how long it will take to get there.

I get a bunch of short rides on my first day. When the sun goes down I’m in Ternopil, a city I visited over three years ago and I send my couchsurfing host from back then a message asking if I can perhaps stay at his place again. But he answers that he’s moved to New York City. So in the fading light I stick out my thumb again. An old Soviet truck stops and the driver offers to take me to Lviv. It’s not a great distance, but both the roads and the truck are in terrible shape. Luckily the driver is a pleasant enough guy.

On the outskirts of Lviv I take a taxi to the center. The driver’s stereo is playing English-language Evangelical Christian music. I’m kind of curious about the guy but I’m dead tired and don’t feel like speaking anymore and I figure since I’m paying for the ride I’m not obligated to engage in small talk. After a quick wander around the city center to see what has changed since the last time I was in town I head to a hostel to sleep.