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Eastern European Kinda Fun - Kyiv

sunny 10 °C
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The next evening we took the overnight train to Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, and before checking into our hostel overlooking Independence Square, walked around the city seeing most of the sights - the Golden Gate, the Red University and golden topped Orthodox churches, as well as looking over the river Dnieper and visiting one of the many islands.

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery

Transport in the city was again incredibly cheap, with a single ticket on the metro costing 2 Hryvnia (about 15p), although the tunnels down to the platforms were incredibly deep - some being more than 100m lower. It took so long to use the single escalator to the bottom, than when you first got off it felt weird to be no longer moving - some people even sat down and ate dinner on them!

Whilst in Kyiv, a lady asked us if we knew where the Chernobyl museum was located - to which Halina replied "No I do not", telling me after 'who needs Chernobyl museum when you can go to the real thing?!'. The following day was infact the excursion to Chernobyl we had booked.

Mother Motherland

Mother Motherland

After we got back from Chernobyl, the following morning was my final day before my flight in the evening. Halina however had to leave in the morning to get her day long coach back to Warsaw, and so I was left on my own. I went to visit the Soviet Motherland statue on the hill overlooking the river facing Moscow. This was apparently built after the war, and was absolutely huge! After this I went to visit the Olympskiy Stadium, which will host the final of Euro 2012. Having now seen everything in the city I decided that with the low prices - £1 for a box of 20 cigarettes, and £2.50 for a bottle of Vodka, it was worth purchasing some Vodka to take back home with me. It was now a question of getting to the airport.

Having figured the central station was the best way of finding the way, I went there, only to find not a single bus went there, and there was NO information anywhere about onward travel...only trains coming in. The information desks also spoke no English whatsoever, leaving me with no idea how to get to the airport. Having spent most of my money, I now had to get a taxi for god-knows-how-much and hoping they would at least understand me trying to say "Airport Zhuliany" (the girl on the Information desk thought I was saying Slovakia!?!?) Luckily they did understand me, and they accepted my Euros I had taken as a backup. However after 30 minutes of walking up and down the road, it was a stressful event. I have no idea how this place can host Euro 2012 and handle all those Europeans who don't speak the language... But finally I did make it to the airport on time and flew home after a very exciting experience!

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Ukraine Tagged churches history city poland&ukraine

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