Our first evening

Having dropped our things at our hotel in Lublin we headed over to the hotel where the children coming directly from Ukraine will be staying, it’s an absolutely beautiful sight. Used for weddings in the summer, this gorgeous traditional family run hotel looks so warm and inviting in the snow. A perfect setting for their respite break, yet only 25 miles from the Ukrainian border. Such a contrast within a small geographic area. A true safe haven.

The children arrived into Poland with no significant delay at the border. The hotel is on the main road joining Kyiv and Warsaw. But the children couldn’t use the nearest border crossing, as due to the war, that crossing is purely for fuel tankers. The Ukrainians can’t import fuel on trains anymore as they are such a target for opposing military forces. So this created over a 350 mile trip for them

But they are safely here and we’ve briefly seen them, and met their teachers. Truly astonishing women. They are also travelling with a child psychologist.

And we were reunited with all our blankets! Absolutely wonderful to see all our hard work and woolly love in this setting so far from home. Was like meeting old friends!

And all the torches and power banks. Tortie for scale 

Absolutely bloomin wonderful. we can’t thank you all enough.

We all had dinner. Delicious. We were so thankful. It had been a long full on day for us and for them. In fact the children went to bed early. They’d had some craft activities planned but they can wait for another day. We heard how last year some children had slept with their curtains open to enjoy the street lighting. In Ukraine there are very often black out periods or power cuts. So lighting is a novelty. We heard reports of 45 minutes of power during 36 hours as not uncommon. In addition to light, imagine how cold that is.

After the children had eaten we spent time with the others from the CCLL (we adore them) creating Christmas party bags. We were on chocolate duty. And NOT ONE PASSED OUR LIPS! Tortie was in charge. We thought, what could go wrong?!

And we made a new friend in the hotel cat. Very chatty and chirpy. Like us.

So a lot done on Day one. We’ve retired to our room with a cheeky traditional Polish nightcap Say no more.

Some more pics from today.

See you tomorrow. X

Hotel corridors of doom. Lublin edition.

In the children’s hotel which is often used as a wedding hotel.

Chocolate sorting. Our forte.

Beautifully warm and welcoming for the children.

Respite. It’s such a comforting place.