There are a lot of many obscure words and cool impressions of a trip to Kryvyi Rih such as quarries, mines and premetro

During the grand festival EUROFEST-2019, a journalist and blogger Tetiana Redko visited our city and took part in a press conference organized by the municipal utility non-profit enterprise «Kryvyi Rih City Development Institution». She shared her impressions of the powerful industrial Kryvbass on Zruchno. Travel

Kryviy Rih is not what you think it should be! Definitely not this. As a rule, when it comes to an industrial city, it is associated with gray streets filled with high-rises, pipes, again pipes and even more pipes, which produce a lot of smote, the taste of chemistry on the tongue, and the rest of the formulaic images, and often this association is justified, but not this time . Of course, in the ecological aspect the city is not perfect, but it is not as terrible as it is believed. There are a lot of unusual things in Kryvyi Rih, and this is the way this city intrigues.

His first "strangeness", which can not be ignored, is planning. Through its length and taking it into account, there are lot of mythical numbers, the city seems to be strung by sub-districts on a long, long axle of roads which is sprayed on smaller ones, leading to the depths of these sub-districts. And each sub-district in Kryvyi Rig, and there are seven of them, is seemed to be a separate city with all the necessary infrastructure. It happens that people live all their life only within the limits of their area, especially if their districts are located at the different ends of the city, such as Inguletsky (southern) and Ternovsky (northern). Getting from one to another by public transport is a travel lasting more than 2 hours.

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In each sub-disctrict, even holidays are held separately. Pay attention to 9-th May for example. In fact, there were seven Days of Victory in the city - separate solemn parades and rallies. And pop-stars who visit Kryvy Rih with concerts, have a need for additional tours to the sub-districts and they move from one to another, arranging their shows.

The situation concerning festivals is identical. Here, EUROFEST, which recently held on the occasion of European Day (May 18th), also has a nomadic history. Each year it crosses from one area to another, introducing the habitants of Kryvyi Rih and tourists to the culture of European countries. This time the holiday took place on the territory of Khmelnytsky Park in the Metallurgical District - almost the tail of the city on the southern side. This district separation from each other has historical roots: Kryvyi Rih was created from independent settlements, which were increasingly attracted by iron-ore fever and gradually absorbed each other, losing their administrative status. In addition, for a long time the city was perceived as agglomeration, which also did not go unnoticed from consciousness of habitants.

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But the curiosity concerning EUROFEST and its scale unite the local habitants and  they come from different parts of Kryvyi Rih. It has a paramount importance that fact that all the sub-distrcits participating in the holiday must be disclose a new European country which is assigned to a specific sub-district in as original way as possible. This year the festival was attended by more than 60 thousand people, it’s approximately about one of every ten local habitants, of course, we will discard  percentages for tourists. By the way, the figure is twice as much as last year’s.

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Event tourism in Krivoy Rog is gathering pace, noting that it was paid little attention to it before. In autumn, the city plans another one - the Industrial Fest, known for its cool excursions to industrial object. I have already included it to my «must visit» list, although I have visited some local promotional events this time. They impress so much that my jaw dropped often. I want more! All the more you will not cover everything at one time. Kryvyi Rih is definitely a city not for one day! Industrial Kryvyi Rih is a separate big story. Iron-ore quarries, mines, mining and processing integrated industrial complexes, metallurgical workshops, coke-chemical production are the things that keep the city toned, provide employment opportunities and produce a quality product not only for the domestic market. Also, all this is gradually turning into powerful tourist attractions which became the cool "schtick" of the city. Even without explanation it is clear why the industrial tourism began to develop in Kryvyi Rih which even foreign lovers of various production processes are interested in. And while Ukrainians are just starting to perceive this type of rest (now, in Kryvyi Rih, it has more demand among the local population), I will say that after the Lviv and Transcarpathian castles it is a fresh sip of something unexplored and new that keep you tensed until the end of the trip. To be honest, it's hard to be relaxed when you descend to the ore mine to a depth of more than a thousand meters or climb to more than 100-meter high above it. And when the miners also kindly dart on tourists with their specific humor, such as the inscription under the ground  «there is hell», just like in the case of one foreigner, then it will truly twist your mind.

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I did not descend to the ground, but I visited the roof  of the headframe of the mine ”Rodina”. Headframe is simply described a building where there are various installations for lifting the extracted iron ore and miners to the surface. And since the lift has several ton loads, the installations are also of immense size and weight, which is also calculated in tons. It is not surprising that the tower that covers them reaches 102 meters. There are more than 10 such old, already abandoned, and still "alive" mines in the city. The tourist asset of Kryvyi Rih in the future sees  old headframes equipped with observation platforms, which will be possible to reach with glassy elevators, and small open cafes built on flat open roofs and that is an incredible dream! But imagine just how nice it would be if it succeeded, at least in one version. From the height of a headframe, you can discover incredible panoramic views of the city. The industrial zone that extends along the residential area, the colorful dumps looking like mountains, which are already somewhere covered with selfstanding trees, red ore roads and green forest and park areas, quarries and small buildings of various-style architecture - from modern to buildings of the Stalin era, and somewhere on the horizon goldens doms of shrines sparkle . And now matter how you describe what you have seen, only a real presence makes real impressions. Even those who do not really like height, climb up to see Kryvyi Rih in this way. (I witnessed that)

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In the mines, you can lose your speech not only because from the view seen above, but also from how people work on and under the surface under the conditions of danger and risk in the mines, inherited from the soviet past, and see modernization in their dreams. For me, this is the first acquaintance with the work of miners and, perhaps, that’s why it’s so disturbing. But the workers there are in good humor, they are eager to communicate and wonder that the tourists are interested in them and take a photo of almost every rusty mine cart, a ladder covered by otr or old elevator and try to grab a piece of ore as a souvenir. For miners, techbical equipment, walls, ropes covered by ore, red puddles on the territory of the mine, strange gas cylinders - the usual atmosphere of everyday life on the job. By the way, it is worth ot mention  that work gloves which are issued before the start of excursion to the mine can be taken away by the tourists. After the "ore stroll" they became red too.

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Mine is a way to extract rich ores, which contains approximately 60% of iron, and there is another method - quarry. It allows exploitation of fields with ore deposits, which are closer to the surface of the earth. There are approximately 10 such iron ore quarries in Kryvyi  Rih and at the moment only 4 are being actively exploited. You can look at this process in real time during a excursion to the Southern mining and processing integrated industrial complex. There is an observation deck where a kilometer-long quarry is visible, which is similar to the planet from outer space without signs of life, which is explored by a lot of machinery of several tons weight, which seems to be a toy from the height of the observation deck. The quarry has been functioning since 1955 so there are horizons (something  like of rocks) and is already 420 meters deep, and according to the plan it will be dug down to 600 meters and it still take a hundred years of exploitation. I will not describe the entire process of extraction of ore, it will confuse you anyway, but the guide from the tourist center "Kryvbastur" tells abruptly, explaining complex things in layman’s terms for such humanities scholars just like me. Regarding the guides, it's impossible to get to the industrial enterprises without permission. Sets of documents, agreements, signatures and other bureaucratic red tape are on the shoulders of the City Development Institution and the Tourist Center of Kryvyi Rih "Kryvbastur", which work closely with each other and with industrial bosses. Well, now you know whom to ask to organize the excursion!

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In the museum of the Southern mining and processing integrated industrial complex, you can examine in detail the models of equipment used in the development of a quarry, rewards and photos of the best workers, and on 3D projections show a detailed layout of ore extraction and even explosions are reproduced. And this is a place where you can look closely at concentrate and sinter - it sounds not so exciting, but  it’s much more spectacular if told by the pros. I will only say that the ore which is mined in a quarry is poor in iron compared with that excavated from the depth of the mines, so it needs benefication and its goal is to remove an extra gangue that does not have ore-forming elements. So, sinter is what left after such a purging.

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And by the way to the museum there is an alley with huge boulders of rock excavated in the quarry.

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There is a place in the Krivyi Rih where "clouds are born".  It’s the way the children called the coke-chemical production of ArcelorMittal, the second heart of the metallurgical factory Kryvorizhstal and more than 10 years its shares  were bought by the largest steel company in the world, ArcelorMittal, which`s origins come from Luxembourg. Today they continue to produce products that they are in demand in 16 countries from Germany to India. Therefore, the armature produced there has clearly seen more places over the world than me.

The tourists are always well met at the enterprise. There people organize excursions to the museum and offer to see some production processes, if the safety protocols allows visiting them. Coke-chemical factory is one of those variants when it’s both safe and interesting. The clouds of smoke that appear over the boiler room, where the coal is transformed into coke, is just a thick white vapor formed every time the water is poured on hot coke heated up to more than 1000 degrees. The factory works without stops - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and so on for years. By the way, the noise and the smell, which can be compared to very few things, are remembered for a long time.

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After such excursions, you probably will want to have a good rest and comprehend what you have seen, the grandeur of all the processes and endurance of people. A rest in Kryvyi Rih can be found in the historical center of the city, to go through Poshtovyi avenue - the local Khreshchatyk, to go to the original "mining" bar and karaoke club "Zaboy", designed in the form of a mine, however, for some reason in form of a coal mine, but not iron ore one. Whether it’s the fail of the experts or blunder of the designer, but now in Kryvyi Rih there is a piece of Donbass. Various thematic dishes can be ordered from the menu, for example, "Lunch snack of a miner" or "Morning of a foreman". Although there is still a need to develop gourmet tourism in Kryvyi Rih, there are several local unique dishes. You can taste them in the restaurant "Kefir", there is for example "Krivorozhsky salad" with ingredients rich in iron and red burgers.  You will have to go to Pokrovsky sub-district, it’s far from Poshtovyi avenue.

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On Poshtovy Prospekt it is a pleasure to have a walk in the evening when the heat is already falling. Relax with a leisurely stroll eating an ice cream and admiring the architecture. Some houses have survived since the first half of the twentieth century. There is also the only classic theater in Kryvyi Rih.

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It’s untypical for the rest of Ukraine, but it’s a part of everyday life for local habitants  that  there is an underground high-speed tram called premetro. Such an interesting interbreeding of the subway train and the tram. You descend into the tunnel and as it’ the usual metropolitan underground station : turnstiles at the entrance and you must buy a token, but a horned tram of Soviet production runs on the rails. There are two routes of the premetro, the longer one runs through more than 10 stations, but on both routes the tram is underground only for a few stops, and then it emerges to the surface.Every tourist should take a ride it, this is a good opportunity to see the panoramic view of the city from the window of a retro transport. Such premetros are popular in Germany, and in Ukraine it is only one unique, and it is here in Kryvyi Rih. The fare is unforgettable,  it’s only 2.50 (UAH). At present prices it is already a dream of those who remember the Soviet Union and bread for 5 kopecks (cents).

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In general, the the tram network  is well developed in Kryvyi Rih. Premetros built in the 80`s runs though the city which have already become part of history and they attract attention strongly. By the way, the old part of the tram rails and pillars of the 30s holding the wires has been preserved on the road to the Southern mining and processing integrated industrial complex.

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Finally, it’s also worth remembering  that the city is very green and so green that you  did not immediately realize that it’s very industrial, there are a lot  chestnuts and  pseudowattles  and the city is clean and it's not about the center; it has a unique house built with bricks and iron ore in thirties which has an unusual ornament and iron fence; "Social city" part of Krivyi Rih is called "Sotsyk", and the legendary 95 quarter has many other names and by the way here the Ukrainian word for "quarter" is pronounced with untypical accent ; puddles are often red, but it is not fatal and pigeons sometimes fly being covered with ore dust, but it is more the exception than the rule ;  you can get a good shot of  giant cooling towers for water  standing in the middle of the road, but you shouldn’t risk; there are approximately ten hotels, so you won’t be left outside;  you can see some low and uncomfortable shuttlebuses, so it's sometimes better to take a taxi; as a hometown of current president Kryvyi Rih is not so interesting;  direct trains run from Kiev to Kryvyi Rih and the schedule is very convenient departure in the evening and arrival in the morning  and also remember that local miners are only red, not black (sometimes they are confused by the media, inserting incorrect photos under the text).

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So, "dive" into the train, as the local habitants say in their slang, and explore Kryvyi Rih, collecting your own impressions. By the way, in addition to industrial tourism, bicycle race, rafting, hiking trips to the mountains are organized in the city ... You can discover more details  in the local tourist center, or in the municipal utility non-profit company "City Development Institution".

Posted by Tetiana Redko, journalist and blogger