Sunday, July 22, 2012

Today we are sailing to Kherson. I gotta admit that I am missing Wip and Duncan. I don't know if it is because I have not received a picture in a few days or if being around these old people complaining about everything from walking up stairs to yelling about not having a safe in the room starting to get to me.

I will say that there are some lovely people like the sweet cousins from Australia that were in the concentration camps in Ukraine as children. They were taken to Australia and have discovered that they have half siblings in Ukraine that they will reunite with in Odessa. Sadly one of the ladies was a school teacher and one of her students beat her with a chair breaking many bones in her back. She looks like she is in a incredible amount of pain but determined to connect with her family.

Our afternoon starts with a traditional Ukrainian meal with veal kabobs and a sausage. Beer is included and Hill sat down with us at lunch not eating a thing but drinking plenty. He loves beer and asked that it just keeps coming. My favorite part of the conversation was learning about his morning. He has a grapefruit that he picks from his tree and then later (maybe 9 or 10) he makes breakfast in bed for Heather. She is not a morning person but loves bacon. He will have one strip to her four.
Kherson is known as a shipbuilding town and has a population of 300,000. Founded by Catherine the Great in 1778. During her affair with Potemkin they would vacation here. The earth produces very black dirt in this area of the world making wonderful melons, tomatoes and other vegetables. It is very good quality and very cheap.
Wait for me!

Grigory Potemkin

In 1944 the town was liberated because a reported that Stalin was very found of mistakenly said that this was a town liberated and to make the reporters word good he liberated it.

Went to the St.Johns chapel which was near the bank of the river. There was a group of young boys playing near the water. When one of the passengers on the boat asked to take a photo with one of the boys he smiled, nodded, and replied "F*(& you!".  This was obviously the only English word that he knew and was obviously not in the right context.
St. Johns

Another monument

The young boys with their father

Doesn't look like we are on the sailboat?
After St. John we headed to St. Catherine's Cathedral.  This was very cool because I am reading Catherine The Great by Robert Massie and I was able to see where she used to sit in the Cathedral.
These ladies welcomed us into the Cathedral

Catherine the Great

Inside the grounds

Where her greatness actually sat!

In the gardens

Of course I was a sucker for these handmade baskets

Dipping our toe in the river

View of the city

Characters of the Viking Lomonosov:
Tonight we had dinner with a couple from Norway. I think her name was Deia, and I could not understand his name. She was very proper and quiet. He was gruff and seemed angry. He could not stop chewing his nicorette gum and his shirt was unbuttoned to a fault. After having a liver transplant 4 years ago he only drinks 2 drinks at a you really think you should drink at all? At one quiet point during dinner she asked "are you a republican or democrat?" when I explained that I am a registered democrat but I strongly feel that you cannot be too much to one side or the other she nodded and said "you do realize the majority of Americans on this boat are republican". I nodded back and said, "I could have guessed that".