Thank you Krakow – hello beautiful Lviv – soon onward to Magical Kyiv

I spent a day and a half in Krakow this week. The city center was looking very pretty and it is was buzzing. There are no signs of a recession here, and please remind me what Covid is again. Yes, this city was full of life and there were people from all nationalities all over the place. And of course, a lot of Ukrainian folk. Poland has been very good to Ukraine from what I understand. It is hard to comprehend that just 6 hours drive away in beautiful Lviv, where I have arrived this morning, there is a country traumatized by this insane war. And yet in Krakow life goes on as normal.

Here are a few cool pics from a short walk I took on Thursday early evening in Krakow. And the funny thing is, I am pretty sure Kyiv will look busy and buzzing too. Yes, there will be less people, and few foreign tourists (I think), but life in Ukraine’s capital has not stopped. What has stalled is foreign investment, as the war has damaged the economy in ways that will only be felt long after this nightmare ends. I am confident that Ukraine will rebuild and that the West will pump a lot of “guilt” money into the country once the war is over. But there is going to be a lot of pain. While it may look “normal” there is a big economic challenge that this war has created. So many unemployed people, millions displaced, so many entrepreneurs having left. It is going to be a hard road to recovery. But Ukraine will recover and be stronger, and things will be good again. Even better. My heart tells me this every day and this is what I believe.

Two friends of mine sent me some photos from Kyiv this week. Lots of people out and about enjoying the sunny weather. These particular pics from Kyiv do have a different look as you will notice, but otherwise when I get to Kyiv next week I am confident that all will seem pretty normal. I will spend time with both these friends next week in magical Kyiv. They are good people. I am looking forward to seeing them both.

The bus adventure from Krakow to Lviv I could write about all day. The bus was mostly women, and some young children. Hardly anyone made a sound and very few people could speak English. I can speak some Russian but I was not sure that speaking in Russian would go down well. I am still trying to find my feet on this. The one thing that I won’t ever forget was the sight of the long long line of trucks queuing up in the truck lane at the border to enter Ukraine from Poland. I am talking about a few kilometers of trucks – it just did not seem to end. Huge trucks, Petrol carriers. You name it, there was a truck with it in that queue. I am sure some of it must be humanitarian aid. I never knew the world had this many trucks, and all in one place.

Ukraine is going to be ok – the support from Poland and the world is what Ukraine needs to win this war. The spirit of Ukrainians and their bravery has captured the world’s imagination. You may not see the war in the news as much as before but I believe the support from America and the West will not stop until Ukraine wins the war. And then even more goodwill will pour in. Ukraine matters. They make food, and software, and they create so much cool and important stuff in the world. Very few people knew anything about this. And the country is beautiful, with warm people who know how to laugh. I am about to head out for an afternoon walk in Lviv’s city center. I remember it will – such a pretty place with so much charm. And amazing eating.

Ukraine is fighting for the whole world. They are doing America’s dirty work and paying in blood. No one likes to talk about this and a lot will ague and say this is rubbish. Dictators are on the rise, and Ukraine is fighting for freedom and democracy. Ukraine has truth on its side – Ukrainians know what they are fighting for. Naive, brainwashed Russian soldiers are fighting for a pay check. Ukraine is not a perfect place and suffers from corruption and bad branding. But it was coming right. Ukraine was moving in the right direction. When the war ends, Ukraine will recover and carry on moving in the right direction.