Testimonial for “Green Ukraine” and Andriy by Patrick from the United Nations in Baghdad, Iraq
I just spent two wonderful and truly memorable days horseback riding in the Carpathian Mountains with Green Ukraine, and want to give my very best compliments to Andriy and his tours. First of all, I was definitely asking to ride in the off-season, but my tight schedule with work in Iraq would not allow me to get away until mid-November; nevertheless, I had every desire to see this part of eastern Europe after reading about it in Henryk Sienkiewicz’s “Fire and Sword”, and to see the real Ukraine up close. What a superb experience. Andriy met me early on the 14th of November and took supreme care of us for the next two days. Probably the best part of the trip was simply talking to Andriy about his country, and particularly about Verkhovyna nestled in the mountains of western Ukraine. You couldn’t ask for a more pristine environment. At every meal, Andriy would ask, “What would you like?” To which I would say, “Anything…but make it as Ukrainian as possible.” And Andriy would deliver each and every time…starting with hot borscht before the first ride. “Say ‘Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr’ when you need Layksa (my first Hucul horse) to stop,” Anton, our 17-year old horseman told me, “and if you need her to move forward, just say, ‘Viay, Layska’!” Freezing rain, then snow as we get at higher altitudes. It’s such a beautiful countryside. Picket fences…green fields…dogs barking…cows in the mist…little Ukrainian Catholic chapels or shrines every few kilometers…I just love it. Layska is my trusty horse on the first day, and Lubcha takes her place on the second day. Both were excellent, strong horses. Love them. Then, at short notice, Andriy had no problem with arranging for me to drive back to Lviv at the conclusion of the 2nd day…which really helped me out, and allowed me to have a full-day of sightseeing in Lviv on the 16th. Overall, I couldn’t be happier. I have had three awesome days in Ukraine…I definitely would come back, and maybe even at a milder time of the year (!)…but even November riding was memorable. I need to come back to the Carpathians for more horseback riding, mushroom picking, and listening to some traditional Ukrainian music, complete with Hucul bagpipes! Thank you, Andriy…and thank you Anton and your horses. Duzo Djakuju! Do pobačennja, Patrick.