I often travel to Uzhgorod and have visited the Carpathians hills and valleys many times. Before then, I never thought I would find some very endearing bus stops along the way. With this in mind, waiting for the bus, or having a rest after trekking around the peaks has a whole new meaning for the weary traveller, as they are most welcoming!
The traditional bus stops I am thinking of are mainly found outside the towns and must have been built during the early to mid 20th century. Such environments decorated with traditional folk art and culture from a bygone era, always tell a story; often emphasising family life, the environment and social values. These lively portrayals and impressions can be found on public buildings, town halls and at train stations throughout this region. Such enchanting and immaterial works of art may be a bit out of date with today’s theme, but continue to touch the heart all the same.
However, intertwining with the traditional folklore are some leftover political and militant depictions from the former regime that may suddenly appear. Despite their shadowy appearances, the redundant Communist antiquities no longer have their power or influences. Most of these monuments have been taken down, painted over, taken to museums, abandoned and are generally ignored by the local people; and they have now given way to today’s modern, cultural scene.
It was great to see some of the traditional folk art, as well as the Shevchenko statues continue to flourish, thus outliving the Communist relics that once stood, but no longer.
Not all the bus stops are in good condition. Some are very derelict, others are painted over and the characters have for now, disappeared; as if their time has come to an end, which I think is a great shame. But I am only an outsider, I am no authority. I cannot decide for the Carpathian people if they should restore the local folk art or not.
Should my opinion mean anything; I feel these once fine bus stops, with their wondrous works of art, are an attraction and should be restored; As they gave much pleasure to me; I am sure they will continue to give pleasure and intrigue in time to come. I love them!
I am a friend to the Carpathians, I have cycled 100’s of kilometres around the hills and valleys and had a great time. I was always grateful for the bus stops! I wrote a book about my time there. Please see the link. I shall return.