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  #1  
Old 10 Nov 2007
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Poland - Ukraine border

We are heading off in our Unimog on a big loop of Europe starting in Spring 08 and intend travelling from Krakow, Poland to the Ukraine aiming for Livi and then on from there.

Does anyone have any experience of crossing the border at Medyka?

We have heard stories of it taking 7 hours to cross this border post and having to pay bribes - I don't think our source is that reliable and wondered if anyone had experienced it.

Thanks
Kate
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  #2  
Old 11 Nov 2007
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Hi Kate

It is better idea to avoid Medyka for you. There is other not so crowded border pass in Kroscienko. In beautiful Bieszczady mountains. You will spend max 2 hrs on the border. This place Will be more colorful and exotic for you. You don't have to pay anything to cross the border. I have heard something about it also but have never this kind experience...
It is more difficult to cross border opposite site.
Greetings form Cracow, hope to meet you in my city!

Sambor
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  #3  
Old 12 Nov 2007
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Hi Kate,

Sambor's advice of avoiding Medyka is probably rather good advice. I crossed this border in June, but in the other direction (Ukraine into Poland). No bribes necessary, but there are many "touts" offering a "fast-track". To be honest, I'm glad I paid one of these, since he saved me somthing like 2 to 3 hours of the total wait. In the "no-man's land" between the two countries, I chatted wiht a guy who drives across this boirder every year (his wife was Ukrainian). He told ne that the average time to cross is 6 hours, and I certainly believe him!

P.S. I also crossed on a Sunday morning at about 10:00am, so not exactly peak time!
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  #4  
Old 12 Nov 2007
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Thanks to you both for the advice and clarification - we certainly will be heading for Kroscienko rather than Medyka!

Sambor - we are not fixed to a route and have a reasonable amount of time so a tour of the mountains would be great too! We are greatly looking forward to Poland and have friends in Wroclaw. Do you know of any rock-climbing in the Bieszczady mountain area?

Ghost Rider - thanks for the advice. Do you have any thoughts on the Ukraine - places to visit, camp sites for a Unimog (!!?), places to avoid etc which you could share with us. We would like to avoid too many big cities but are planning a visit to Lviv and Kyiv before heading down to Modovia. Also were you rough camping? and if so, did you have any trouble?

Thanks again.
Kate
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  #5  
Old 12 Nov 2007
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Crossing Hungary to Ukraine

cant remember which border we crossed at and it was memmorable but not for the best of reasons. We just stayed cool and when the officials asked for money we just kept smilin and acted dumb. It wasnt pleasant but got throu eventually. After going thru Russia Kazakhstan Kyrgustan ans Tajikistan you sort of get used to them, but it nothing to worry about just accept it will take a while and some of them may try there luck. Youll feel better equiped to deal with them in the future. After all thats why youre going there.

Camping wise we always slept rough with no problem... we tended to start looking for somewhere at about 2pm and stopped when we saw a nice spot. Check the map for a natural feature like a river lake or mountain. To me this is the best part of the day when you can kick back and enjoy the place youre travelling thru. Watch out for the police!!!! no more than 50 kmh near towns but there wont be any signs....you will get stopped..alot or maybe that was just our experience....i enjoyed Ukraine just try and take a step to the right and enjoy.

Tim
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  #6  
Old 12 Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistress-kate View Post
Ghost Rider - thanks for the advice. Do you have any thoughts on the Ukraine - places to visit, camp sites for a Unimog (!!?), places to avoid etc which you could share with us. We would like to avoid too many big cities but are planning a visit to Lviv and Kyiv before heading down to Modovia. Also were you rough camping? and if so, did you have any trouble?
Hi Kate,

First of all, I must confess that I've gone soft in my old age and that camping is now a thing of the past for me (and my back!), so I can't advise you here. One thing I did notice in the Ukraine is that there are very few roadside motels, which meant heading into town to find (often expensive!) hotels.

Secondly, although I rather liked the Ukraine, I didn't really do it justice - i was basically on my way home from Moldova, and not wanting to upset the Moldovan authorities by re-entering without an exit stamp (I made the mistake of entering Ukraine via Transnistria), Ukraine was basically my only option, although I would dearly like to visit again and spend more time there.

Although you say you would like to avoid too many cities, L'viv is nice and has a very attractive old town. Odessa is most definitely on my list of places to revisit, this is an absolutely wonderful city, with lots to offer. Unfortunately, the rest was passed at a somewhat hectic pace. ONe of these day, I should get around to creeating a blog on this very site to share some experiences and pictures - a job for the winter months maybe.
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  #7  
Old 12 Nov 2007
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Originally Posted by tnt go east View Post
Watch out for the police!!!! no more than 50 kmh near towns but there wont be any signs....you will get stopped..alot or maybe that was just our experience
Tim, you've hit the nail on the head here. The problem with Ukraine is that you're never sure when you're in the town/village limits, and therefore in a 60 km/h zone (not 50 km/h, unlike the rest of Europe), HOWEVER, my experience is that every time the Police are out, almost ALL oncoming traffic flashed their lights as a warning.

Tip of the day for the Ukraine:

The police always set their hidden radar traps in the 60 km/h zones. If oncoming vehicles are flashing their lights, slow down to 60, even if you're not sure what the speed limit is.
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  #8  
Old 14 Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistress-kate View Post
Sambor - we are not fixed to a route and have a reasonable amount of time so a tour of the mountains would be great too! We are greatly looking forward to Poland and have friends in Wroclaw. Do you know of any rock-climbing in the Bieszczady mountain area?
There are no rock-climbing areas in Bieszczady. These mountains are green, very wild and unhibited. If you love to rock-climbing Tatras are better option. Also Gorgan mountains in Ukraine. I have visited Ukraine many times and I suggest Czarnohora mountains as a best place to visit by Unimog. You will be suprised meeting people who live there. Beautifull mountains, clean water, safe... You can camp anywhere and there is a lot of dirty roads dedicated to your vehicle...

Sambor
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  #9  
Old 17 Nov 2007
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Kate

Hi Kate
you have a pm

Chris C
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  #10  
Old 29 Nov 2007
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Bieszczady and Poland/Ukraine border

Hi kate,

When I travel from Warsaw to Lviv (by a car though) I usually get through the Rawa Ruska border point. It's become very civilized this year, especially on the Polish side. Going from Poland to Ukraine, waiting on the Polish side should not take you more than half an hour, and then another 1-2 hrs on the UKR side, especially if you try to "squeeze" between the cars directly to the border officers. Car drivers should not be very angry with you, because they are looking at you like "those crazy bikers from a remote country" and eventually wave their hand.. That's how I do it on my bike when I go to Balkan countries . Especially if the line of cars is some few hundred meters long and you want to get back home quickly..

I also would recommend going to Bieszczady mountains - these are not rocky but beutiful and wild. Also, people living there are usualy very friendly, some of them are "escapees" from the urban life, settling down in the mountins and living simple life.. I'd reccomend you visiting a small town of Cisna and some of mountain shelters like Mala Rawka (always someone interesting and friendly to meet). The second one is also a perfect starting point for a one-day hike in the mountains and I'm, sure your bikes will be safe over there if they leave them (they have a huge guarding dog .

Good luck and if you were by any chance crossing Warsaw and needed somewhere to stay just let me know and you are welcome at my place.

Cheers!

Pawel
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  #11  
Old 4 Dec 2007
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Poland Ukraine

Hi, I am new to this Hubb, so sorry if I am gatecrashing someones thread. This info is useful to me.... I was going to try to post a similar request. I hope to enter Romania via Ukraine and then back to UK via Poland etc. Sadly I only have just over three weeks so am heading for Transylvania. I usually try to camp or use youth hostels or the equivilent, but I believe accommodation is quite reasonable.Any suggestions on border crossings/ carnets / visas for Ukraine would be much appreciated. I have had a few years solo travelling in Europe and Norway and have visited CZ when both whilst "The Curtain" was up and since. This was no problem and I was with company. Any problems/ things I need to be wary of as a solo traveller? I have never had problems so far... a 50+ solo female seems to get a lot more care and respect than at home in the UK. Thank you in advance for any advice. Gill
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  #12  
Old 4 Dec 2007
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Carnets and visas.

Hi Gill,
I haven't been to Romania or Ukraine but carnets and visas are not required.
We're off that way next year - can't wait!!
Cheers
Paul
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  #13  
Old 4 Dec 2007
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Thank you, Paul. No visas for Ukraine is good news. Just good home planning with no unexpected problems at borders. ( The old plan for the unexpected eh?!)Thanx again. Gill.
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