Kiev, Ukraine - "City of Churches"

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October 10th 2009
Published: October 10th 2009
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Hi Everybody!
Walt and I enjoyed our overnight train ride from Odessa to Kiev. Before boarding the train, we were approached by a nice young Ukranian woman. She asked us to watch her baby while she went to the restroom. Later, she explained that she was an internet bride. She met a man from Arkansas, married him, has had 2 sons, and is visiting Ukraine for the first time in 10 years. We enjoyed the time that we spent with her.
When we arrived in Kiev, we decided to go ahead and purchase train tickets to Warsaw for next Monday. This was easier said than done. No one spoke a word of English. Every sign was in cyrillic. A young Peace Corp worker overheard us talking. With her help, we were able to buy the tickets.
We were so excited to check into a nice hotel that had unlimited hot water.
Everything in Kiev is a step above Odessa. This city is wonderful! It reminds me of Budapest. It is clean, has very wide sidewalks, and lots of trees. In fact, Kiev is one of the 3 greeniest cities in Europe. The other two are Chisinau, Moldova and Sophia, Bulgaria. Kiev has 78 parks with 67% of the city's land covered in trees. Everywhere you look, you see beauty. Kiev has a population of over 4 million people. It is located on wooded hills above the Dnieper River, the 4th largest river in Europe. The Russian Orthodox Church got its beginning here in Kiev.
Tomorrow, Walt plans to go on a tour of Chernobyl, the site of the world's worst nuclear accident. In April 1986, a nuclear reactor exploded in this town, north of Kiev and near the border of Belarus. I plan to visit museums while he is on his tour.
This morning, we met a young American who is attending medical school in Ukraine. He told us that while he was in a bar with two Ukranian girls, one of them may have slipped something in his drink. He woke up in a hospital with a lump on his head and all of his money missing. I have read warnings in guide books about this type of situation. Our policy is to stay in at night and not socialize too much with the locals.
Walt says that he should have left his khaki pants at home and instead should
Arch of FriendshipArch of FriendshipArch of Friendship

This titanium arch symbolizes the friendly relations between Russia and Ukraine
have brought his oldest black suit. Everybody wears black or jeans. Luckily, we did bring jeans. It has turned cold today - feels like the 40's.
I am glad that we have found a beautiful place to visit. I hope that any of you who ever have the opportunity will try to come to this city, Kiev.
Take care,

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


The Dnieper RiverThe Dnieper River
The Dnieper River

This river runs right through the city of Kiev.
Kiev Monument of IndependenceKiev Monument of Independence
Kiev Monument of Independence

This lady with the banner of gold leaves is perched on a tall white column in Kiev's Independence Square. She represents a Slavic goddess of protection.
St. Michael's Orthodox CathedralSt. Michael's Orthodox Cathedral
St. Michael's Orthodox Cathedral

This is the most beautiful church that I have ever seen. From its golden domes to its pure sky-blue walls, it is stunning. It was originally built in 1108, torn down in 1936, and rebuilt in 1996. I was not allowed to take photos of the inside.
Monument to Archangel MichaelMonument to Archangel Michael
Monument to Archangel Michael

This monument is in honor of the patron saint of Kiev. It is black and gold with Michael holding a sword.
Monument to Bogdan KhmelnytskyMonument to Bogdan Khmelnytsky
Monument to Bogdan Khmelnytsky

This monument is in front of the St. Sophia Cathedral
underground shopsunderground shops
underground shops

There are large malls, small shops, and stalls underground in Kiev. I went in a mall today that had two floors underground. It contained many high end shops.
St. Sophia CathedralSt. Sophia Cathedral
St. Sophia Cathedral

This is the oldest cathedral in Kiev. It was built in 1037. It contains many ancient portraits, mosaics, and unique frescoes.
Famine MonumentFamine Monument
Famine Monument

In 1932-33, millions of Ukranians were deliberately starved to death. There was plenty of food to feed the people but by order of the Soviets, it was confiscated and kept from the people.
Hotel KreshchtikHotel Kreshchtik
Hotel Kreshchtik

Our hotel is located on Kreshchtik St., one of the most beautiful streets in Kiev.

10th October 2009

Everett, It looks so beautiful. The buildings are amazing.
11th October 2009

Great pictures. Kiev sounds like a real highlight. You make it all sound like such an adventure and I always learn a lot by reading your blog. Keep up the good work. charlotte
12th October 2009

I'm enjoying your trip immensely. How exciting it must be to actually be there. Thanks for sharing. Virginia and I haven"t walked as much lately because of rain and Bob's hernia surgery, but everything looks fine. Your flowers out back look great. Be safe. Love, Carolyn

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