30-Oct-2004 -- Transcarpathia (locally known as Zakarpattia) is an interesting corner of the world. Before the First World War it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire; between the wars it was under Czechoslovakian control. For a brief period at the start of the Second World War it was independent and after that war it became part of the Soviet Union. Now it is part of independent Ukraine.
On our way to Dyakovo we got lost and drove through villages which had their names in Hungarian and had much of the atmosphere of the Hungarian villages we had seen only a week before.
As we got closer to the Hungarian border was came across a road block with two very friendly soldiers. Fortunately Igor was with me; he is Ukrainian and also speaks good English. The soldiers wanted to see one of the car documents which we did not have. At this point they started to look serious. Will they confiscate the car? Will I have to pay a bribe? Then they asked – “Do you have a bottle of mineral water?” We did, but how they could have seen it through the darkened glass of the car I have no idea. Minus one bottle of water we set off again to our destination.
We knew we were close to the border so we drove off the road and parked the car. Quickly we were at 48º 00’ N and after about 10 minutes walking beside fields we were at the exact spot. This was a good time of year to visit. Most of the summer crops had been harvested and the autumn sown ones were not developed enough to be at any risk.