During my time in Ukraine I have written about the Ukrainian food
and what I think are some unique cultural differences.
But what have I been doing in the Ukraine.
I walk a lot. So much walking that my feet are permanently aching as they probably destroy old muscles to make room for new ones. It’s great to be active again and I can blame or thank that on Ukraine for its lack of a language that is at all familiar. I remember during my first night of sleep I woke up to my entire leg cramping up. It felt that the entire leg would snap if I made one move.
The hostel, KIU Backpackers, is in the ideal location. I walk out of the door in the morning into an old solviet elevator that is about a foot wide. The elevator is quite efficient as it lowers me in record speed to the front door of the apartment building. The building’s front door actual leads into a sketchy alley. I even thought to myself that if Kiev ever becomes a popular backpacking destination you can bet some thieves will you that opportunity to rob us. But outside of this alley we see this.
During my first real day there I met a guy Sarge who I would spend some time with during the next few days. He leads a different kind of life. The kind of mini-retirement where he has been traveling non-stop for 8 years. We had a lot in common. He also had a few quirks of his own as he traveled by bicycle throughout the city, even on the pedestrian walkways or late at night. When he wasn’t riding his bike he used a walking cane. He is no more than 40 years old. I think this cane is why the first disco we tried to enter rejected us on the spot.
We both zero Russian so I showed him the wonders of Puzata Haata
. In Kiev you are not allowed to drink open alcoholic bottles in the open so instead you will see everyone from the derelict homeless man to smoking hot 20 something year old’s drinking out of a paper bag in nice plazas. Sarge hopped on his bike and returned one evening with a few bottles of beer which we drank while craning our necks in every direction admiring the Ukrainian beauties and interesting characters that make up this city.
View from our drinking plaza
When my disposable friend (that’s what they really are when you will probably never see them again) took off from Kiev to who knows where I had a few days walking around Kiev myself. I saw some famous sites like this church.
I had French Onion soup at a French restaurant afterward. Outside of the restaurant was a small market where I noticed these being sold.
I tried entering this strange museum and was yelled at by a miserable middle aged woman. I found out she wanted me to go to the line to pay the entry first. I didn’t even bother after that.
This lead me down the hill to another small market which was far less touristy.
Kiev has a few big hills so they have this funicular that takes people up and down.
The first time I took it I walked past without putting in my token and a bar nearly severed my body in half. I learned my mistake of course. Atop the hill I had a nice view of the city.
And they even have some beaches along the river which probably are not so apparent from this photo.
As I made my way back down hill I took in more sights.
and this ministry of something or other.
Allergies here are even worse than the U.S. so I zipped it home passing all the people enjoying the nice weather.
As I explained before you pretty much need to go below ground through subway stations to cross many of the main streets so here is one I must have walked through 5 -10 times each day.