Lviv: A photographer's paradise

I think I found the winter wonderland everyone keeps singing about.

It's Lviv.

As I write this, giant snowflakes fall from the sky  — the ones that are just fluffy enough that they're not too wet that they soak your clothes and not too dry that they hurt your eyes.

People are walking around, managing to make the bundled-up look stylish and trying to keep their balance (cobblestone has surprisingly more grip than you might think, except when there's a layer of snow/slush on top).

As I mentioned in my last post, it's been pretty rainy in Lviv, besides the last few days when the rain has turned to snow. But even during the rainy period, we had another winter wonderland-like day, with those big, beautiful snowflakes,  when I took photos of my friend and fellow dancer, Natalya, and her boyfriend, Justin, who was visiting from Canada. 

For Christmas, Natalya bought Justin a vyshyvanka (embroidered shirt) to match one she has and asked me to take photos of them for the second part of his gift.

I had absolutely no game plan for when I met them, but we started off by taking some shots in front of the Christmas market near the opera house.

The Christmas market, which has kiosks by the opera house and in Rynok Square, opened at the start of December and runs through to January. It's full of souvenirs and gifts (wool vests!), drinks (mulled wine!), and food (shashlik!).

Then we walked through the yearlong souvenir market that's between the opera house and the square in search of more photo ops. At this market, you'll find vyshyvanky, jewelry, paintings, and everything else Ukrainian. There seems to be more vendors set up during high tourist seasons, like summertime and winter holidays.

Justin, Natalya, and I also walked down some side streets and through the Armenian quarters for a few more photos.

It was a fun morning of, in true Canadian spirit, withstanding the cold (it wasn't actually that cold — just cold enough for it to snow) and exploring the beautiful city that is Lviv with friends.

Scroll on below to see some of the photos!