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Published: October 23rd 2019
It's our last day in Kiev but our flight isn't until evening, so there's time for one last outing. We take the metro into town and then the funicular between its 100 year old art deco stations to Kiev's blue and gold domed skyline with St Sofia's cathedral, St Michael's Monastery and Saint Andrew's church.
We round off our visit in style with lunch at 100 Rokiv Tomu Vpered (100 Years Ago in the Future), a restaurant run by the winner of Ukranian Masterchef. The food is a modern twist on traditional Ukranian dishes. There are some whacky things on the menu; I skip the edible bees and the celery with ash and order the chicken with beetroot kvass (bread made with fermented black bread). The chicken is served naked, whilst the waiter brandishes a blown egg with the sauce sealed inside. He cracks the egg on my plate, and the vibrant pink sauce appears from within. It tastes delicious.
By the time we are finished, I'm so full I can hardly walk and we waddle back to Obolon to begin our journey home. The traffic is heavy due to a pile up on the bridge, so we order
our Uber in plenty time. The fare and time quoted to complete the 41 km journey are 460 UAH and 55 minutes. The driver waits briefly in the traffic, then announces he knows a short cut and sets off in the other direction. Eventually we cross the bridge and reach the turn off for the airport. He says he knows a better way. We have now been driving for 30 minutes and are 48 km from the airport. We're not sure what's happening, where we're going, if we'll make our flights or if we're actually being kidnapped. Eventually, 90 minutes later, we arrive the airport, stressed but relieved. The fare has doubled, the old man's flight is already boarding (he is continuing to Moldova, whilst I return home for the Great South Run) and I am a nervous wreck. I have just enough time to rush into duty free to buy vodka for daughters number 1 and 2 and board my plane to London. I am in the back row, surrounded by dozens of pensioners returning from a Saga trip to Georgia and Armenia. One lady asks me to swap seats as she can't sit by the window - she's
afraid of heights. I don't like to point out that we're still a hell of a long way up, regardless of where she sits. We change seats and spend the next few hours sharing stories of our Eastern Europeans adventures.
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