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Vinnitsa - thoughts and a photo report - UEN exclusive

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Vinnitsa - thoughts and a photo report - UEN exclusive

Post by Nelson on Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:18 am

Yesterday i returned from Vinnitsa. Admin has asked me to visit a few places recently, Maidan, Mizhygoriya, Donetsk, Vinnitsa, Lviv.
I gave Donetsk a miss. Everybody is leaving Donetsk now, and heading for free, unoccupied, Ukraine.
Last weekend he sent me off to Vinnitsa - here is an old photo I saw in a snack bar near the station. Notice the Polish!  )




Vinnitsa is one of the places people from the Donbass are arriving at. I noticed many cars on the city's streets with AH and BB licence plates.
And Vinnitsa is a nice place to visit, or live. And clearly some people from the Donbass with some money, have settled here.
But I would say that the favorite destinations for resettling from Putin's murderous occupation has been Kiev itself, and Lviv.

You can arrive in Vinnitsa by car, of course.
If you arrive by train, you find yourself at the main station - see the photo below.





In the square are many taxis, but forget those. You don't need them.
Trolley bus 6 will take you through the centre of town, across the main bridge, and along Soborna, past the hotel Vinnitsa itself, and to the main park.
But I opted to travel by tram. Just to the left of the station - basically where the photo above is taken from - is the tram station. Rather hidden away.
But you can ask for it. The word Tramvai - Tram... very simple. The trams turn around here.
Trams 1, 4, 6 leave from here, and all go to the centre also. They leave every few minutes. Cost is 2 hryvnia. About 10 cents.
The little tram station, next to the train station below



Last edited by Nelson on Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:28 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Nelson on Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:20 am

Alternatively you might arrive at the bus station - Avtovoksal.
This - photo below - is located close to the main bridge, near the Chernobyl monument, and a fancy blue church still in the process of construction, and across the main road from the Roshen Fountain and the large Roshen factory. Boats leave for a river tour below the bridge.




The Chernobyl monument and church - clear landmark, if you're looking for the main bus station



The main bridge, for trams and some trolleybuses, with the boat station below







Last edited by Nelson on Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:38 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Nelson on Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:21 am

I would say that the main centre of the town is located along Soborna street.
Here is an old photo, and below it a newer one, showing the corner before the church, with... MacDonald's  - what else)




Soborna street




A little further up the street, and off to the right, heading up the hill away from the bridge and the river, is the famous old water tower.
Or clock tower... as it is now )





This is also a nice street in which to sit and eat a pizza, or spaghetti, with a lovely view through the open window.
Prices - a little expensive... 89 hryvnia for a large-ish pizza, if you study the photo carefully! - about 3 pounds. 4.50 dollars.







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Post by Nelson on Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:22 am

Further up Soborna is a pleasant park. I nice place to go for a walk.
It includes a pond with turtles and swans, and also a large fountain.
A lady on a trolleybus told me that Vinnitsa is known as the city of "fountains".
Apparently it has more fountains than any other city in Ukraine - eleven - she said. The park -




In the park were some policemen training - combat techniques.
I was careful taking the photo, so there is not much detail.





Also parked on Soborna was this Russian car.
Amazing. A car with Russian number plates - almost unknown now in Ukraine.
And - even more amazingly - it didn't have an Ukrainian flag in it.
In fact there were very few cars with Ukrainian flags in them here.
You will find far more in Rivne, or Zhitomir, or Berdichev, or.. many other places.







Last edited by Nelson on Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:56 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Nelson on Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:22 am

Next to the park is this mega tram junction, next to Univermag, the old Soviet shopping centre.
You can get off here to go to the park.





Standing in the same place, and turning to my right, I took this photo





The Univermag shopping centre. Run down now, really. No A/C.
Look at the roof - to the left.... CCCP.... amazing - Soviet symbols still ...
A close up...




And this is not the only Soviet symbol left in Vinnitsa. Next to the water tower, across from the war memorial - 41-45, I saw this mural.
Notice Lenin on the left...





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Post by Nelson on Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:23 am

Three shots from the centre of town.
First, a pleasant square mid-way up Soborna.
There is a small tree type memorial here to the victims of Maidan - photos.




The Vinnitsa Rada - local government, presumably where Poroshenko started off his political life.




And here the Hotel Vinnitsa. Ok, but rather old. No A/c that I recall. But the location is excellent.
I stayed this time at a different hotel. New. But similar price, but about 3 trams stops from the central bridge.
Super. Good breakfast, clean rooms, 70 channel tv - but nothing in English. Anyway, back to the old hotel,
here right on the tram route on Soborna, near to the water tower.







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Post by Nelson on Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:23 am

Probably worth taking a boat trip up the river.
But forget the timetable... they only seem to operate if there are more than 20 people on the boat.
If they had a regular time, people would come. I arrived for the 1400 departure, and it eventually left at 1445, when people started wanting to get off the boat.
Really very poor marketing. It doesn't encourage people to go back again. Cost was 40 hryvnia up the river, and 40 more for the return trip, but you pay both together typically.
The view from the boat at the outshirts of Vinnitsa





In the heat it is best to sit under the canopy. The day I took a trip it was over 30C. Toasty. But a nice breeze.





This is a view where the boat turns round, and stops for 10 minutes, before the return journey.





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Post by Nelson on Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:24 am

One aside.
I noticed that there were very few people in military uniform in Vinnitsa, in sharp contrast to most other cities, such as Lviv, Zhitomir, Berdichev.
Why? Perhaps fewer army units based there? Not sure.

By far the main attraction in Vinnisa now has been created by the President himself, and with his own money.
He gets some criticism, but, - well - my opinion - he is by far and wide the best president Ukraine has ever had.
Tymoshenko, Putin and others are still working to bring his downfall, but I hope he stays in power for a good while.
Ukraine needs some stability.
The Roshen fountain - the biggest in Europe.





As already mentioned, it is located at the side of the main bridge, near the bus station, on the river.
This is the photo showing the approach to the fountain.
And yes, looking at the sky in the photo, super. Vinnitsa did get rain the next morning. Needed, to be honest.





The fountain is best viewed after sunset, preferably in the dark, when various "shows" are put on with music and lasers. Super.





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Post by Nelson on Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:24 am

The fountain is quite popular with the locals.
But also attracts some foreigners. I noticed a couple of Polish men trying to chat up the local girls.
Here you see the crowd - audience at about 2100 on a Sunday night.





And  here a view of the bridge from the fountain seating area earlier, at sunset.





Incidentally, it is free. But there are people selling various souvenirs.
Here - probably local students - dressed up in national colors and selling some things




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Post by Nelson on Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:25 am

There are various childrens' parks around the city. This one is located next to the fountain. Paid for by Poroshenko's Roshen chocolate group.





Finally a view of the fountain again, with a projected laser image from behind.





In conclusion, a lovely city.
A lot of work has been done to move it into the 20th century, following Soviet times.
Maybe it has yet to reach the 21st century, but it is on the way.
nationalistically, - during my last visit - last year - there were more flags, more patriotic Ukrainian symbols, more anti-Putin graffiti.
Poroshenko has invested a lot of his own money in this city.
And people from the Donbass are chosing to settle here. Those with money go where it is nice and pleasant.
So the "Russian-Ukrainians" from Donetsk and Lugansk are moving to Lviv, Kiev, Vinnitsa, and other pleasant cities.

I saw very few military people, or vehicles. And almost no police cars. Unusual.
The city seems relatively affluent. Perhaps this explains the lack of police on the streets.
Compared to where I live, nearer Kiev, there seem to be fewer shops closing down.
Perhaps people are less affected by the downturn economically.

A nice city - in my top half-dozen....
Lviv, Vinnitsa, Kiev, Odessa....

Thus endeth my photo - report for Admin on Poroshenko's "home" city of Vinnitsa.

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Re: Vinnitsa - thoughts and a photo report - UEN exclusive

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