Sunday, April 1, 2007

Ukraine - Kiev

I arrived in Kiev like a zombie. After almost an entire day of sleepless flights (of no fault of my own), it was like landing in a strange place. It didn't help that I spoke just about no Russian and very few people there spoke English.
Somehow despite the language problems, I met up with people I was supposed to meet up with and was taken about the city. 
Kiev center
I would say Kiev reminded me of Korea of many years ago...just as it was growing into more modern city. Perhaps if I spoke Russian like I speak Korean in Korea, it might have made things so much better. But with 2 hours of sleep in 24 hours, I am not sure if that would have helped.

Near Independence Square
City itself was bustling with people. It was strange mixture of fancy modern buildings and old Soviet architecture.
Kiev Center
We took some sort of people mover train to the top of the mountain to see this gorgeous church. I still have no clue what is called.
Mikhailovsky Cathedral
The church or cathedral on top of the mountain was in different fashion than other Cathedrals I am used to. It is of course eastern orthodox based. Yet the beauty of the chapel was still the same.
Mikhailovsky Cathedral
Mikhailovsky Cathedral
From the top of the hill, we walked down and down windy street, which I am told afterwards as somewhat of a tourist attraction. The small streets were full of street vendors selling this and that. I walked through them as if in a dream. 
Andreevsky Spusk - oldest streets in Kiev
I don't remember much of the first day I arrived in Kiev, but I do remember wishing I had few more days to explore at least the orthodox cathedrals.
My last night in Kiev was the Easter night. I was so lucky. The church opens all night, the streets and church are filled with people carrying Easter baskets. 
Saint Vladimir Cathedral
The subways at Kiev are somewhat old and dirty, but definitely great as a transportation and cheaper than anything I've known in terms of public transportation. We wandered the night streets of Kiev...which I would say is infinitely better than the day.
Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra
I was able to walk into several churches, see the brightly lit gilded statues, murals, and even see the top honch of the eastern orthodox church...who I'd say wasn't really the focal point of the night. I was more impressed by several hundred year old chapel.

Theater in city center
Books about Ukraine & Kiev:

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