People who come to Ukraine mainly know just three cities – Kyiv, Lviv and Odessa. But Ukraine has many beautiful small towns which are worth visiting.
Ternopil is situated on the way from Kyiv to Lviv in 6 hours from the capital by fast train. Intercity train is very comfortable. I recommend you to take first class beside a table. Train restaurant has any kind of food such as special train sandwiches and soup.
The main touristic attraction in Ternopil is a beautiful lake. Ternopil citizens repaired old 1965 boat and now you can enjoy boat trip. Take a seat in restaurant Maxim near the lake. Special Ternopil food is ice cream with liqueur and pastry nuts with sugar milk on the pan.
You can spend a night in the hotel beside the lake. It is a bit Soviet style but a clean one. Other option is to go 30 km from Ternopil and stay in a green hotel of local people which is surounded by fantastic nature.
Next day you can take a pilgrim trip. You can go there by normal car or by limousine as we did with friends) 50 km from Ternopil is old Orthodox monastery Pochaivska Lavra. Lavra means a big monastery. We have just three Lavras in Ukraine. Pochaivska Lavra is famous by it strong and special spirit. It was started in the 11th century by Kyiv monks who try to escape Mongolian invasion. According to the legend Virgin Marry appeared in front of them and showed the place where new monastery have to be started. The monastery is placed on a high hill. From the top you can observe green hills and a forest around.
Pochaivska Lavra has some special features. First of all it was never closed during its history or ruined in contrast to Kyiv Lavra which was closed by Soviet government. Therefore it always keeps its heaven spirit. Some old monks hava supernatural ability to treat mentally sick people by special praying.
Secondly, in the main cathedral there is wondering Virgin Mary icon. In the 17th century a disable man prayed in front of the icon and suddenly he got an ability to walk. Since that time many people who have leg problems come to this icon. Many of them left their sticks beside the icon and came back home on their own legs.
Thirdly, monastery includea a stove cave where Saint Jov of Pochayev used to pray and live. To go inside you need to wait in a long queue and creep to its entrance. But be careful. According to local evidence people who had many sins were not able to go out. Thirty years ago one woman entered the cave but could not get off till she confessed all her sins to a priest.
What can I say about my impression? I really forgot all problems and felt this light spirit. I like a monastery restaurant very much . Food is very tasty and cheap. Besides, there are a hostel and a hostel for people with different budget.
Some people believe that the monastery is a Russian one as it belongs to Moscow Patriarchy. But I had only positive impression about all people and monks. Everybody speaks Ukrainian language very well and priests provide speeches in Ukrainian.
If you would like to escape crowded cities and modern civilization, think about spiritual life this trip is perfect for you.