Kiev or Kyiv or Київ

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Upon arrival we have to "get our bearings" as Patrick likes to call it. Kiev is a city of about 3 million people and is known for its many beautiful churches. It is also one of the oldest cities in Europe. After a long walk up a pretty steep hill we stumbled upon St. Andrews Church which allowed for a beautiful view of the city. After our walk we settled into our cabin and then had a wonderful meal in the restaurant. An after dinner beer and peanuts in the top deck and we were in bed by 9pm.
On the boat

St. Andrews

Victory after a long climb

Beautiful view

Yummy dinner

Peanuts and Beer after dinner

Great first night in Kiev
The next morning we woke up and went for a run looking for the entrance to the walking bridge that was situated behind the boat. Not many people were out exercising (we saw one lady in tennis shoes). Most people were probably recovering from a wild party from the night bottles and McDonald's wrappers were everywhere.

Demetri our tour guide and Borris our bus driver take us to St. Sophia's cathedral which was built in 1037.  Our first stop inside the cathedral campus was Trinity church which surprisingly was not damaged in World War II as pretty much everything else was destroyed.  St. Sophia some say was blown up by a direct order of Hitler on November 3, 1941. The belltower was a gift from Moscow with a guarantee of lasting 10 years. It has lasted over 100 years. We also came upon the biggest sculpted woman of the world. After a quick tour through St. Sophia of Kyiv we headed towards the Monastery of the Caves which was founded by hermit monks in the 11th century. Before climbing into the caves I had to be covered. When we were going through the caves a group of Romanian tourists were also walking through. The Romanian old ladies would stop at each monks glass coffin (which the monks were just placed in at death and put in the cave-Patrick saw a pair of shriveled hands) and kiss the head of each monk.
Map so I don't forget what everything is called:)

Inside Trinity Church before I was told no photographs

View of the city

They love eggs

Monks chatting

Instructions for entering couples allowed

Covered and ready to go in the caves

Ukraine version of Statue of Liberty

Entry to another St. Sophia

St. Sophia Church
Each day has allowed us to meet some interesting characters also traveling on the Viking Lomonosov. I should first tell you that the average age on this boat is 70 years old. We were approached on the first night by a gentleman telling us congratulations for being the youngest couple, and other than a couple of teenagers and a granddaughter, he was right!

The first set of Lomonosov characters was Assah from Memphis who reached over during lunch and took my individual packet of butter and knife. He explained that he loves the environment and does not like to dirty dishes. The two sisters that also joined us at the table informed us that they only go to places one time and that one is allergic to alcohol so they can't just sit in a bar all day, in one word this was a weird lunch and made me nervous for other interactions with passengers.

After lunch we went exploring in Kiev (just the two of us:). It was lovely. The city is hopping and coming off hosting the 2012 Euro Cup. We took the vestibul (trolley) up to the main city square. Along our walk we saw many many protesters for former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and many Ukrainians think wrongfully (Kyiv Post). We went to an art museum Pintick It was a very very small version of a Tate modern but very very cool.  There was an exhibit of Anish Kapoor that was very cool and very disturbing. The exhibit Shooting into the Corner left me shivering (especially the day after the Colorado shootings).
Anish Kapoor, Shooting Into the Corner


Just like Anthony Bourdain taught us...we visit the food market

Ukrainians LOVE monuments