Monday July 29, 2013
Trains in Ukraine (intentional rhyme) are a practical and very affordable mode of transportation, especially if you want to travel through the night. On my 12 hour overnight ride to Chernivtsi, I shared the "sleeper car" with three others. A gentlemen in his forties, who fell asleep right away and two guys about my age.
The one guy spoke only Ukrainian and the other guy spoke Russian and a little bit of English, so between the three of us, and a few beer, we were able to have some sort of conversation. Mostly, they couldn't grasp the fact that I had travelled all the way to Ukraine to sing with my choir for free.
Since the trains and tracks are older, the noise from the movement and frequent stops in villages along the way prevented me from getting into a deep sleep. The result of this was various train related nightmares for 8 hours.
I arrived in Chernivtsi bright and early was greeted by two of our tour guides who took me to the hotel. The choir was finishing breakfast and preparing to go to a workshop, so I quickly put my bags in the room and grabbed a quick bite.
We went to a workshop with Holos Choir who were exceptionally talented musicians. They sang a few songs and then worked on two new songs with us. A phenomenal experience!
Following this, we were given the opportunity to tour around Chernivtsi, or go shopping. Since I hadn't been to Chernivtsi before, I decided on the tour option, which consisted of the beautiful University and city centre.
In the evening, we had a fantastic dinner followed by a full performance by Holos. What a day to start off my choir tour! Tomorrow we are stopping in Kolomiya en-route to Lviv!