[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Planning a trip to Poland and Ukraine

Dave Obee daveobee at shaw.ca
Tue Oct 12 07:08:24 PDT 2010


I have been to Poland four times and Ukraine five times. Others might have had more experience, or other experience -- so you should consider all the points of view on this. 

> I plan to visit places like Piotrkow Trybunalski in Poland and Sapust,
> Rozyzcze and Rovno archives in Ukraine as well as Kiev archives 
> (maybe).As I know many of you have been on this kind of trip, I 
> have some questions:
> 1. Is a interpreter a must have, or can you figure out just by 
> your English
> (do people speak fair English there)?

-- English alone will not do; a bit of French or German (especially German) would also help. In the archives, you might find someone who speaks English, you might not. It is best to have some who reads and speaks the local language.
> 2. Can you hire a car from Warsaw and, with a good GPS, wonder 
> around or
> this is crazy (consider I done this before somehow)? Same to Ukraine?

-- Don't trust GPS with your life. I had two TomToms on my dash last summer in Poland, and took a photo of them side by side, giving different directions. But yes, you can rent a car and get around. Just prepare yourself for a rather aggressive style of driving.

> 3. Is it better to arrive in Europe in a main city like 
> Frankfurt and then
> trip with cars and/or trains to Poland and Ukraine?

-- I've done that; it can add a couple of days to your trip, but might make sense in terms of adjusting the jetlag in more comfortable surroundings. The train can take a long time. You can make it by car from Frankfurt to Kiev in two days if you push it.

> 4. Are those places safe?

-- There are bad people in every city. I have never had trouble there, although I dress down, and I always leave my rental car in secured parking.

> 5. And lastly, how much do you think I'll spend on this (besides 
> the air
> fares)?

-- Depends entirely on your tastes. I have spent $10 a night for a room in Ukraine, but it was rather low quality. Food is cheap, perhaps $20 a day (but again that depends on what you're looking for. I've done it for less, I've done it for more).

Your biggest costs will be hotel, transportation and interpreter; the first two you can check on Expedia, the third will vary. At one time $10 a day was good enough, but these days $25 to $30 might be more reasonable.

Dave Obee

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