Although with a delay of a few days, but we have finally composed the definitive list of the journeys organized by us in this autumn, first outlined in the page dedicated to our travel plans. Before the presentation of the three trips, let us be over the most painful: the fourth voyage, planned in late September to the Hasidic villages around the Hungarian Tokaj wine region, will be postponed. Not as if there were no candidates for the journey: on the contrary, we could have gone there with a full minibus, which proves that such short time and low cost travels are just as justified as the several days long distance ones. But because the working schedule of our guide in the Tokaj region, Két Sheng – my brother Gyuri, a Hebrew scholar in Copenhagen – was unexpectedly change so that he would have no free weekend to come back to Hungary. And it is him who knows the Jewish past and relics of the region like the back of his hand, and without him the travel would not be the same. Therefore, with a heavy heart, but we have to postpone this trip until spring. Let us be comforted by the fact that then we can already taste the wine of this year’s harvest in Tokaj.
In the two Ukrainian trips, however, there were so many people interested, that it is no question whether they would be organized. The travel to Lemberg/Lwów will be organized on the long weekend of 20-23 September (Thursday-Sunday) similarly to the one in July: one day trip there from Budapest and one back, and on the way we also drop in Drohobycz (where I’m just writing this in the Bruno Schulz café, opposite the park on the place of the former Jewish neighborhood, with Stepan Bandera’s statue in the middle of it), and in the other two days we will visit Lwów’s old city, the Armenian and Jewish quarters, the Art Nouveau district, the Łyczakówski cemetery – the Polish pantheon –, the open air museum preserving the relics of Rusyn wooden architecture, the Janowska death camp, an the Renaissance town of Zhovkva/Żółkiew. Our accommodation will be in the Art Nouveau district, around the prestigious Shevchenko – formerly Academic – Promenade, in an apartmant and in a so-called “deluxe hostel”, which in the Ukrainian categories means an exclusive quality hotel. The detailed program, participation costs and deadline can be read on our travel page as well as on the Facebook page dedicated to the event. As an appetizer, you are recommended to read the reports on our earlier trips to Lwów, collected on our travel page, especially the latest one.
The much sought-for trip to Odessa will be organized a month later, from 17 to 23 October (Wednesday-Tuesday). The road will take two days from Budapest to Odessa and two days back, but we will stop by at several interesting places, and will stay for the night in two beautiful cities, on the way there in the Monarchy-style Czernowitz, and on the way back in Kamenets-Podolsk, left there from the Middle Ages: in the latter place in an extra quality hotel – sauna, Turkish bath, buffet, Brezhnev-era luxury – on an absolutely normal price. In Odessa – where I went just a few weeks earlier to prepare our journey – I have managed to reserve a number of excellent quality apartments in one house in the very center of the city, next to the city park, just some streets from the seashore promenade, which is a great thing because the hotels in Odessa are either very expensive, or are very far from the center. From here we go around to visit the city, the classical seashore quarter, the Moldavanka, the Jewish and Greek neighborhoods, the Sunday flea market. By popular demand, I have also organized an optional dinner for each night (except for the first one in Czernowitz), in the excellent Jewish, Bulgarian and Italian restaurants, representing three important ethnic groups of Odessa, as well as in the Ukrainian restaurant in the medieval castle of Kamenets-Podolsk: these will cost between 100-150 hrivnyas (1 euro = ca. 10 hrivnyas). The detailed program, deadline and travel costs are (and partly will be) published in our travel page as well as in the Facebook page dedicated to the event.
Finally, between the two travels, from 4 to 7 October will the Hungarian Jewish Cultural Association organize its trip to Szabadka/Subotica. I do not participate in the organization, but I will lead the two Art Nouveau architectural tours in Subotica and in the nearby elegant spa resort of Palić. The details of the very rich program can be read in the Facebook page of the event.
In the following days and weeks I will try to prepare these trips with more posts on Lemberg, Odessa and Subotica in the blog, and detailed information in the respective Facebook pages. Check back, think it over, come with us!