If one is in a hurry as I was today and needed to find something fast, this is a logistical and technological breakthrough we didn’t have a few years ago. If I’m not in a hurry often I still prefer to rely on old fashioned methods of getting around.
With a recommendation from a friend, I stopped by the National Chornobyl Museum – a grim reminder of this disaster in 1986. As you enter the museum, signs are lined up on the ceiling each in memory of a village that had to be abandoned because of the radiation and surrounding devastation. Nearly all the exhibits are in Russian although you can rent an English speaking audio guide. A visual shows the moving radiation cloud as it dispersed across Europe and then beyond.
Then it was over to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pechersk Lavra – a large complex of Orthodox Churches, a unique Cave Monastery, courtyards, museums and gift shops. Monks in dark brown robes sporting long scraggly beards, some of whom were on cell phones wandered through various courtyards. Inspirational music rang out of the open church doors.
After dinner at a Uzbekistan Restaurant (highly disappointing restaurant but in anticipation of my trip to some of the stans later this year I wanted to at least try some culinary dishes), I walked up a nearby hill and had fantastic views overlooking the main river and the Kiev Skyline as well as of Vozdvyzhenka, a colorful community of buildings that now stand fairly empty because of their high prices. This neighborhood resembles a Hollywood film set with its empty streets, perfect looking buildings and exacting colors.
These homes were built to imitate historic buildings from an era gone by. Standing here I experienced the perfect dusk – it was warm, a gentle rain fell but wasn’t too bothersome and the sun shone through the clouds highlighting the colorful buildings. This ridge that rises prominently in this part of Kiev is covered with natural vegetation and at this time of day many couples were sitting in the green grass enjoying the last of the suns rays.
What incredible light! Kiev Ukraine. Standing in rain – I don't care! pic.twitter.com/6MofxQIurX
— Dave's Travel Corner (@DaveDTC) June 3, 2014