We all start our days in different ways: going for a run, hitting snooze 17 times, or watching the morning news, among many, many others….
This morning I was one of the people that hit snooze several times. The four of us arrived to Oleg’s house around 11pm and of course Anna (his wife) had tea and a small late night dinner prepared. So I didn’t go to bed until about 12:30am and because we had a busy day with a long drive ahead, all of us woke up around 5:00am!
Today, Oleg’s family and us were going to visit two fortresses located in the Chernivtsi Oblast (province). Anna’s brother and his girlfriend were joining us on the trip. It was a 3-hour drive to the first fortress, I attempted sleeping in the car but the roads in Ukraine are….well…..how do I phrase this? … yeah, not that great. Juliana, on the other hand, I don’t know how was able to sleep through most of the road trip.
After a long bump drive, we arrived at our first stop, the Khtoyn Fortress (Хотинська фортеця). We toured around the fortress for about two hours. We had a tour guide in the beginning where we learned about the history of the place before we went on our own. There was so much to see, from underground tunnels and torture chambers to views of the Dniester River. The fortress was definitely a large tourist attraction and in 2007, the fortress was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine.
The Khtoyn Fortres
The Khtoyn Fortress taken by Alex’s Diji Phantom Quadcopter
Located in a close proximity to the Khtoyn Fortress was another famous defensive structure that we visited, the Old Kam’yanets Castle of Kamianets-Podilskyi (Кам’янець-Подільський). Because we were running low on time, we did not have time to tour inside the Kamianets-Podilskyi fortress. Instead, Alex flew his Diji Phantom Quadcopter above and near the fortress. We watched the video afterwards so I still felt as though we were inside of the fortress. Plus, this way we got to see a lot more things in a shorter period of time than if we were walking around.
Our exploring came to a close as Oleg drove the four of us to Dubno, our next destination. It was going to be about a three-hour long drive. About halfway through our drive, I experienced a lightning storm like no other. There was constant rain and lightning for an hour, it just never ended. There were huge fallen trees in the middle of the roads. Cars were pulled over on the side of the road waiting for the storm to pass. Juliana, I don’t’ know how, was asleep in the car again. The drive took a bit longer than expected, but we finally arrived in Dubno. Once in Dubno, the four of us arrived to a family friends house of Juliana’s (Anatoliy and Galina). Being very welcoming, they also prepared us a late-night dinner when we arrived, even though all we really wanted was to just sleep. Because the family was currently in the process of remodeling their home, they booked us a hotel room for the night, which was really sweet of them. The hotel was super lovely with two bedrooms. A few minutes after arriving in the hotel room, I just hit the bed and went to sleep. I was exhausted.