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Published: October 10th 2009
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 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.
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