"Five Years of Studies" Horlivka by hunterV

Horlivka Travel Guide: 62 reviews and 408 photos

I Caught a Travel Bug Here

Traveling became my passion during my student's years in Horlivka. I was a student of the English Faculty of Horlivka State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages from 1977 till 1982. At that time nobody called the city Horlivka , everybody said in Russian: Gorlovka.

They say that he who had studied in Horlivka for five years became a city resident. I wondered if I could call myself a local and my answer was negative. I did not visit too many places in the city to be able to have it at my fingertips. Perhaps I spent too much time doing my homework...So I had to rediscover Horlivka during my visits after my graduation: in 2002, 2009 and 2010.

1779 is the foundation year of Horlivka. The city is called after an outstanding Russian mining engineer Peter Gorlov (1839-1915). He was commissioned for the construction of Kursk-Kharkiv-Azov railway and designed many coalmines. The grateful residents of Horlivka erected a monument to Peter Gorlov in Victory Avenue in 1999.

The city area is 422 square kilometers, which is half of the size of the Ukrainian capital Kiev. Horlivka is divided into three administrative districts: Central City District, Kalinin District and Nikitov District. The settlements of Golmovsky, Zaytsevo, Panteleymonovka and the villages of Ozerianovka and Gladossovo are incorporated into the city area. About 300,000 residents live in Horlivka now. The city has three railway stations, more than 1,500 streets, avenues, boulevards and lanes. There is a small river in the city ? the River Korsun, a tributary of the River Krynka that flows into the Seversky Donets, our big river.

Horlivka means a lot of nice memories of my youth to me. We used to study the culture of the English-speaking countries, but could not even dream of visiting them. We had to travel without seeing most of the time. However, we wanted to learn the habits and ways of those countries not only from textbooks, but also from TV, radio, newspapers and magazines.

Our Communist textbooks, where every word had been approved "from above", did not satisfy our thirst for knowledge and experience, and we sought other ways to develop our skills and ideas. My friends and I enjoyed listening to the VOA ("Voice of America") "Special English" programs after we had installed an extended SW antenna into an old radio set in our room in the dormitory where we used to stay. It was very interesting and exciting to get the first-hand knowledge from native speakers over the radio, especially in the times of the information vacuum in our country. It was not very safe, though. But good luck was on our side and our passion for foreign broadcasts did not lead us into any trouble with the authorities.

The videos were very rare in those days and we got the feeling of the foreign culture through music. We listened to music and learnt by heart the songs of "Queen", "ABBA", "Beatles," "Pink Floyd", "Boney-M" and others.

A Great Reward

I am very thankful to my alma mater for education, practice and experience. During my last year of studies, my college recommended me for a business trip abroad as an interpreter. Such testimonials were issued every year to several gifted students, but only some of them were selected for a business trip in the long run. Thanks a lot, my college, for that testimonial!

A business trip abroad was a huge award in those times, especially if you take into account that I did not belong to the ruling Communist party. Thank Goodness nobody realized then that I had no intention of joining it whatsoever!

In those Communist times you only had to study well, to attend all the general meetings of the Young Communist League (YCL) of your school or college, and to raise your hand to vote for this or that resolution. You did not even have to follow the agenda of the meeting, you only had to sit and behave, and nobody really cared if you had any genuine respect for the Communist ideals and leaders.

In 1981 my fellow student Oleg and I were selected for a study trip to "friendly Germany", the GDR, or East Germany, what is now "the new provinces", where we had a month-long intensive German course at Erich Weinert Pedagogical College Magdeburg (PHM) in Magdeburg (now it is a part of Otto von Guericke University). It was a great experience for me, of course. I was privileged to visit Berlin, Magdeburg and many other big and small towns and cities.

A Start in Life

Luckily, in the spring of 1982, while I was still a student, I was selected as a candidate for a possible business trip abroad as an interpreter. The college recommendation worked, and in August of the same year I found myself invited to the "friendly Iraq" as an interpreter at a Soviet-built cement plant in the city of Samawa located in the south of Iraq. I spent there one year translating for a technical assistance group from the Soviet Union. Thanks, my good college, for recommending me for that honorable ? and cool ? job abroad!

You see, there was a custom in the Soviet Union to build factories and plants for developing countries that were regarded by the USSR as friendly nations and potential socialist countries. Our technical assistance group worked at the Portland cement plant built by the Soviet Union in the seventies.

The city of Samawa itself is located 270 km to the south of Baghdad.
It was a very serious job and a good way of practicing my knowledge. Besides, it was a good financial start in my career. I think I did my best and managed my everyday duties as an interpreter in that faraway mysterious country.

In May 2009 I attended the jubilee reunion of the graduates of our college dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Horlivka State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages. It was a must for me and an opportunity to visit the old and new places there and to take tons of pictures.

Here are some nice links for fellow travelers:
Pictures of Horlivka
Chemical factory pictures
Professional photographers
For music lovers
Another Web Site of Horlivka with great pictures and videos!

  • Last visit to Horlivka: Aug 2010
  • Intro Updated Aug 26, 2016
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Reviews (62)

Comments (32)

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
    Apr 16, 2016 at 8:02 AM

    Interesting page. I see like me you are interested in grafitti when it is quite creative. All the best, Irene

    • hunterV's Profile Photo
      Aug 14, 2016 at 11:32 PM

      Yes, indeed. A graffiti always catches my eye...

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2016 at 6:46 PM

    A very good page you have created here, Victor! Thanks for the virtual tour :)

    • hunterV's Profile Photo
      Mar 21, 2016 at 3:09 AM

      You're welcome, Regina! That's my alma mater city....

  • EasyMalc's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2016 at 3:43 AM

    Some great reviews Victor and I particularly like your introduction. Excellent

    • hunterV's Profile Photo
      Mar 1, 2016 at 3:47 AM

      I am glad you liked it. Unfortunately, due to hostilities, we cannot pay a visit to this city right now. Some other day perhaps...

    • EasyMalc's Profile Photo
      Mar 1, 2016 at 6:44 AM

      Let's hope so Victor.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    May 23, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Victor, This is a really interesting and informative page!

    • hunterV's Profile Photo
      May 23, 2014 at 11:13 PM

      Thanks a lot....I only wanted to share my memories....

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Victor, I enjoyed your pages on Horlivka. particularly your impressions of how it was when you lived there and some things that have (and have not) changed. is the region still a coal mining center as it was when you were there?

    • hunterV's Profile Photo
      Aug 14, 2016 at 11:32 PM

      Not so much as it used to be. Several coalmines had to be closed...

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    There is so much great history in your region. If only I had more days to get over that way. You keep on traveling since I enjoy your presentations

    • hunterV's Profile Photo
      Aug 14, 2016 at 11:33 PM

      Thanks, Bruce. Yes, you always face some history when you visit this or that interesting place, especially if you work or study there...

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Hello Victor, when you wrote: "Perhaps I spent too much time doing my homework" I feel like you many years after my studies. We should have gone out dancing and having fun instead of sitting at our desk!

    • hunterV's Profile Photo
      Aug 14, 2016 at 11:34 PM

      Well, we were filled with a good aim: getting decent education...

  • zadunajska8's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    Thanks for sharing so much about your university town. I really enjoyed the Folk Dance video.

  • Wafro's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2011 at 7:42 AM

    WOW! Your Pages are so complete!

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    This city is so vibrant! All the memorial, monuments, and beautiful buildings all have a wonderful story to tell. The Razumov Miniature Book Museum looks fascinating. I would want to check out that. Thanks once again for sharing such wonderful memo

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