The Carpatho-Rusyn Society has announced details of its 11th Carpatho-Rusyn Heritage Tour visitng Rusyn areas of Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine from July 14-26.
You can find all the cost information, contacts and an application at the Carpatho-Rusyn Society website.
To whet your appetite, here's the complete itinerary:
THURSDAY, JULY 14 ‑ NEW YORK (JFK) or WASHINGTON DC ‑ VIENNA Via Austrian Air (international)
FRIDAY, JULY 15 – VIENNA, AUSTRIA – KOSICE, SLOVAKIA—PRESOV, SLOVAKIA
WE ALL MEET IN VIENNA and fly to Kosice in eastern Slovakia, then board Heritage Tour private motorcoach for a leisurely ride to the Hotel Dukla in Presov Check in and, relax. Dinner in the hotel dining room featuring the local cuisine.
SATURDAY, JULY 16 - PRESOV, SLOVAKIA TO KRYNICA, POLAND
After breakfast, Go directly into the high Beskyd chain of the Carpathians AND STOP IN AN ACTUAL Rusyn villae for local Rusyn food and entertainment. Then we head to Krynica in Poland, a health spa town with mineral waters and renowned topiary. It was home to the World Congress of Rusyns in 1993 and 2005. Arrive at the Nikifor Hotel and check in. Meet local Lemko Rusyn poet and cultural leader Petro Trochanovskyj, who will highlight the day with a walking tour to the tomb of the famous Rusyn Lemko primitive artist Nykyfor Drovnjak, Then study the interesting contrasts between the newly built Orthodox Church and the older Byzantine Catholic Church – the largest Byzantine church in all of Lemkovyna. Enjoy some of this classic spa town and its shopping and ambience. Traditional Rusyn dinner at the hotel, then, practice singing for the Lemko Vatra – a traditional Rusyn outdoor bonfire – to be held the next evening with Lemko Rusyns.
SUNDAY, JULY 17 KRYNICA
.After breakfast and church of your choice, visit Kamjanna, where the traditional Rusyn honey wine is made. See the beekeepers museum and sample the honey wine. Back to Krynica to visit Nikifor’s Museum and new statue and take in the town. Walk the pedestrian zone, sidewalk cafes and general atmosphere. Return to the Nikifor Hotel and that evening, we`ll attend the Lemko Vatra – a traditional mountain bonfire, complete with food, drinks, singing and the fellowship of local Lemko Rusyns.
MONDAY, JULY 18 KRYNICA.
Those who wish go with drivers to the villages. The rest of us visit the traditional Rusyn wooden churches, including the oldest in the Lemko region. Back to Krynica for shopping and to take in the town, then dinner at the hotel and pack for tomorrow.
TUESDAY, JULY 19 - KRYNICA TO GORLICI TO DUKLA TO ZYNDRANOVA ‑ TO DUKLA PASS TO NYZNYJ KOMARNYK, AND PRESOV, SLOVAKIA
A PACKED DAY! After breakfast we depart for Gorlici to visit the new Holy Trinity Orthodox Church and view its spectacular iconography and learn about St. Maxim Sandovych, a Rusyn priest martyred for his faith and Rusyn nationality and canonized in this very church just 15 years ago. Then onto the Ruska Bursa, or Rusyn High School, one of only three founded at the turn of the century in Lemkovyna. Taken away by the Communist state, it has now been returned to the Rusyns of Poland and is serving as their cultural center. On to the ancient mountain city of Dukla, with its charming town square then to Zyndranova to visit and view the historical and folk treasures at the Rusyn Lemko Museum there – an outdoor museum set up to resemble a Lemko homestead 120 years ago.
We cross the Dukla Pass through the mountains into Slovakia, stopping there to visit the Dukla open air battlefield where some 90,000 men lost their lives in battle during World War II. Then to Nyznyj Komarnyk, an isolated Rusyn village with a unique Boyko wooden church. Then on to Presov, cultural capital for Rusyns . Check into the Hotel Dukla Dinner and local entertainment..
WEDNESDAY, JULY 20 PRESOV—BARDEJOV -- SVIDNYK –KRASNY BROD
After breakfast, visit the new Rusyn Museum in Presov and the tombs under the Greek Catholic Cathedral. Then up in the mountains to visit the Rusyn Icon Museum in Bardejov, then the Svidnik outdoor Rusyn Museum – an entire village set up as the Rusyn lived 120 years ago!. On to Krasny Brod, site of an historic Rusyn monastery and a holy site to the Rusyns from pagan times. Stop in a little Rusyn village to experience a small town korcma (tavern) just like your ancestors did.
Dinner that evening in the Saris Restaurant in Presov with local Rusyn entertainment
THURSDAY, JULY 21 PRESOV
For those visiting the villages and relatives in Slovakia, leave early with drivers from the hotel lobby. For the rest, take a walking guided tour of the city. Learn about Presov`s colorful and challenging religious history. Finish shopping, relax and get to know Presov better.
In the evening , walk to the theater for a command performance by a Rusyn ensemble. Pack to leave for Ukraine in the morning.
FRIDAY, JULY 22 PRESOV TO UZHOROD, UKRAINE
After breakfast, leave for Uzhorod. Arrive there, cross the border to the capital of the Rusyn territory since the 600s! Check into the Hotel Uzhorod. See the ancient sites of Uzhorod, including Uzhorod castle and see where the Union of Uzhorod took place in 1646. View the museum of Rusyn folk life and then on to the Outdoor Museum of Rusyn Folk Culture which features traditional Rusyn homes from every region of Transcarpathia. Back to the hotel for dinner and local Rusyn entertainment.
SATURDAY, JULY 23 UZHOROD TO MUKACHEVO AND IVANOVCI.
Travel east by motorcoach to the city of Mukachevo, the second largest city of Transcarpathia and the religious and cultural center of Rusyns from earliest times. We stop and visit the sacred historical site for all Rusyns, St. Nicholas Monastery on Cerneca Hora (Monk’s Hill) – now home to almost 100 Orthodox nuns. The monastery church was built in the late 1700s and holds a miraculous icon.
Lunch on your own in the sidewalk cafes in downtown Mukachevo.Then to Palanok, the renowned Mukacevo Castle. The view is incredible from there and the castle is filled with a museum of local Rusyn culture. Then we travel to Ivanovci and visit the Romzha Memorial, the site where recently beatified Greek Catholic Bishop Theodore Romzha was martyred by the Communists in 1947, beginning the liquidation of the Greek Catholic Church in Transcarpathia. Dinner in hotel – then off to the Philharmonic Hall for a performance by the world renowned Transcarpathian Folk Ensemble.
SUNDAY, JULY 24 UZHOROD
Church of your choice or early departure after breakfast for those going to the villages.. For the rest, a tour of historic Uzhorod-- see the architecture of the Hungarian times, the shops and the sites. Cross the pedestrian footbridge, walk through Korjatovych Square, sample the local foods Time for walking in Uzhorod. Dinner with local entertainment. Pack for tomorrow.
MONDAY, JULY 25 UZHOROD TO KOSICE, SLOVAKIA
Breakfast then onto Slovakia’s second largest city – Kosice. Take in the sites of this spectacular city including several museums and spectacular shopping! Farewell dinner and overnight in one of the city’s hotels.
TUESDAY, JULY 26 KOSICE TO VIENNA TO NEW YORK (JFK)/WASHINGTON DC
Depart from Kosice for Vienna then for New York/Washington DC and back to wherever you call home!