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
Apartments Living Valencia says
Nice photo. Have you been there? Are they still in war?
Yes, I was there last month. Kiev felt very safe and little signs of the conflict in the Eastern part of the country.
Good to see that Kiev is still very much in one piece after the demonstrations earlier this year … the mood on the streets must have been tense with everything that’s going on with Russia…!
I was in Kiev in July and August 2014 and experienced it with the barricades and protesters still camped at Independence square. Even then Kiev still felt really safe and with Khreshatyk St closed off it had a real family atmosphere. We were also lucky enough to see it cleaned up when we went back in August and even caught the Independence day parade rehearsal. Great city, beautiful city that is well worth visiting.
Enjoying reading your blog thanks for all the info, love that you get off the beaten track to different places
Hi Pete – yea, I didn’t feel any safety issues when I was there. Was also in Thailand earlier this year staying right next to Victory Monument during the protesting – felt more like a party atmosphere there. It would take a lot more going on to keep me away from these countries that you see in the media portrayed as being “unsafe”. I need to get back to the Ukraine and explore more of the country. Thanks for stopping by.
I’m so happy that you liked my city and my country! There so many beautiful cities like Odessa and Lviv
I am sure that you fall in love them 🙂
Galyna Kordiiaka says
Hey Dave! Nice write-up on Kyiv. It’s not my fav place in Ukraine, but I really like Vozdvyzhenka area. I’ve noticed that you haven’t been to Lviv, Ukraine. I strongly recommend including it in your travel itinerary. Its entire center is a UNESCO heritage site and nearly half of Ukrainian landmarks are located in Lviv.
I’ve recently made a travel guide to Lviv so check it out in case you’re interested 🙂
Cheers and good luck with your travels!