Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sophia is beautiful...

The park is very beautiful. Our hotel is across the street from it and there is a very nice restaurant in the hotel.

There was an adventure getting to the didn't think there wouldn't be did you? We got off the train very early and asked about the transportation to the park. The bus we were shown was right there so we hopped on. Rita asked a couple of times if we were on our way to the park and was told "sure". When we arrived at the gate, it was the gate on the opposite end of where we were staying and then we had to find transportation to the actual gate where we were going to stay. Of course there was only a taxi from where we were. But, we got there and started thru the checking in process.

You have to understand, this hotel did not have a check in desk brimming with employees or guests...we had to hunt to find it on the second floor. They said that we could not check in for several more hours because other people would have to leave and then we could check in. What other people? We didn't really see many other people, but, we went to eat at the restaurant and waited. One person checked out that I could see, and shortly after, we were allowed to go into our room. In fact, we were allowed to see three different rooms to see which one we wanted. Go figure!

Our room is very lovely, it has two rooms and a nice bathroom. Bathrooms have become something of interest to me. Some are MUCH better than others! I knew that it was going to be okay when I saw how nice our bathroom was! We cleaned up a little bit and were ready to visit the park.

Wouldn't you know it...the first day of school coincided with our visit. That is the one day of the year that the children get in free! So we shared our nice quiet park with about 300 school children. They were dressed in school uniforms like I have never seen before. They looked a little like French Maid Costumes at Halloween. The girls all had dark dresses (VERY short), white aprons, white knee high socks, and HIGH heels. Oh, and on their heads were these ENORMOUS white pom pom like bows. I couldn't help but giggle every time I saw a young girl (14 - 18) looking like a Halloween party. They were looking at my outfit as if it was weird, and I was thinking the same thing about them!

Our trip back home was much more pleasant. We shared a compartment with a lady my age who was very sweet. We had a lunch packed and read some while we traveled. Our cab driver, on the way to the train station, gave us the grand tour of the town. He said that we would be way too early for the train and that we should see some sights while we had a chance. He didn't even charge us for the extra tour. The bathroom wasn't any better, but the trip didn't seem so bad going home.

I enjoyed the park, we got to see the tomb of a Hasidic Jewish guy who attracts thousands of visitors each year, and we got the grand tour of the town as well. The evenings were quiet, the weather was fabulous, the park was beautiful...God is good!

We returned to Dneper to a torential down pour. I was glad that Jayne told me to pack an umbrella. Sasha picked us up at 4:30 a.m. and we went home to rest.

I am glad I had a day of rest in a beautiful place.

I love you all,

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