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Thursday, July 25: Day 94 – Blue and Yellow

The Ukrainian flag is a blue horizontal stripe above a yellow horizontal stripe. Blue sky over yellow sunflowers. This photo resembles their flag.

We see many older women selling flowers on the street. They don’t have much money so those that do, buy flowers and garden vegetables from them.

The Ukrainian coat of arms is a yellow trident on blue background. It has many different meanings:

The trident looks like a Ukrainian word that spells freedom or perhaps a flying falcon which is known to be the fastest bird when diving for prey.

Many Ukrainians have lost their lives since the Russians entered illegally into the Ukraine.

Every church has a memorial with photos of those who have died since 2014.

These boys who are obviously joining the military aren’t even shaving yet.

The churches are very confusing. Are they Orthodox? Are they Catholic? Or a combination?

Holidays in Lviv are great for kids and for workers: two Christmases, two Epiphanys, two Easters, etc.

The Catholic church follows the Gregorian Calendar; the Orthodox church follows the Julian. I guess that is why they celebrate name days because they are not REALLY sure WHEN their birthday is!

In fact, I learned that there are 40 calendars worldwide in use today.

Here is what an Orthodox cross looks like:

The slanted line refers to the thieves on each side of Christ at crucifixion. The ascending side is for the thief who realized Jesus was the Son of God; the descending side refers to the thief who was cursing Him.

I used to have a cross collection. You would be surprised how many there are.

It would be hard to go to an Orthodox Church because worshippers have to stand for 1½ hours even if you are old. Rob and I are always looking for a place to sit even on our tours.

The Dominican Catholic church was closed by the Soviets and it was used for a Museum of Atheism. The statue on top was sawed off and cast out into a trash heap. After the fall of Communism, the cross was returned and reconsecrated.

Churches were repurposed during the war and communism but many have returned to their original function.

The first cobblestones were made of wood. Hmm. Would that be cobblewood? I am starting to think that these guides could be making these things up??

In 1527 there was a big fire. With houses sharing walls, fires were always a concern. The trumpeter would play a different tune for each neighborhood so firefighters could rush to the the right place.

We rode a local bus. Fortunately, our sightseeing tour bus was not this crowded. We went on our first bus tour mainly to give our feet a rest and to cover more ground. We wore earphones that translated what we were seeing in English. Rob’s plug-in didn’t work so he had to move to another seat.

It was open air and the sun was beating down. The windows rattled so loudly as we traveled over the cobblestones that it was hard to hear. I don’t want to cause any ear damage by drowning it out.

As we were rattling along, there was no commentary so I assumed that we were going through an area devoid of attractions.

The bus slows down and every head turns to the right. I wonder what they had seen so I craned my neck to get a look. That is when I noticed that my earphones have come unplugged!!! I didn’t feel that I missed much.

I like these whimsical ballerinas in front of the Lviv Opera House.

Nearby are children in miniature cars that their parents are guiding by remote control. Hmmm. Could this be a parenting tool of the future???

We saw a beautiful mansion. The commentary said that it was nationalized in 1939. (That surely means that the property was stolen from the owner.) In 1946, it was the Soviet headquarters. Hmmm. Do heirs from the original owners have a claim here?

As a retired microbiologist, I found the following story interesting. Rudolf Stefan Jan Weigl was a Polish microbiologist and inventor of the first effective vaccine against epidemic typhus. His interest in the disease came during his military service in WWI. Typhus is a side affect of war because of crowded often unsanitary conditions for soldiers and prisoners.

He founded the Weigl Institute in Lviv, where he conducted vaccine research. The Germans supported his manufacture of the vaccine as they could see its value. He employed over 1,000 Polish intellectuals and Jews. He also smuggled his vaccines into the ghettos of Lviv and Warsaw. He saved countless lives either directly by employment or indirectly by vaccination. He is in the book Righteous Among the Nations.

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