Ukraine Travelogue -
Ukraine 15th Independence

This is the long version of the travelogue. There is also a Short Version and a Slideshow of Independence Day with 65 images for this day.

We'd heard rumors that the entire Independence celebration for Ukraine's 15th independence had been called off, but we of course hoped it was not so. It was very sad that the Russian jet went down in eastern Ukraine, but surely a minute of mourning held first would give tribute to those who had been lost, and would be projected world wide? As it was, a search on CNN and other news sites this morning gave no mention of that jet crash. Having it be an integral part of the day would have brought it world wide attention.

We went down to the buffet breakfast at 8:45, and there was actually an empty seat or two this time. I wore my handmade embroidered Ukrainian shirt, and soon Kris had one from her godmother as well. Mine was white with blue threads, and Kris' was black with red threads. Shortly we were down in the lobby meeting up with her parents to head out.

We walked down the hill, down the street and soon reached the blocked off street. It was clearly where the parade should have been, but a talk with a local merchant confirmed that everything had been called off. It would be held on Saturday - i.e. the day we were flying out. Ah well! The street was still lined with temporary cafes - lots of beer and chip vendors. We did see a guy peeing right in the middle of a grassy area, no shame or anything :) He didn't look drunk or 'street wanderer' either - just a guy who had to pee.

There were literally no souvenier stands, though. We did not find those until we hit the central square, and even there only a few were in one row. There was a globe that rotated, with lines showing the distance and direction to other towns in Ukraine. Up behind the empty reviewing stand, protesters talked about the issues affecting the country.

Ukrainian Flags

Stephanie got me a *gorgeous* wooden necklace here, which besides the Lviv plaque my relatives had gotten for me, was my very first souvenier from Ukraine. I had been resisting buying things up until now. It was just so pretty though :)

Kris and I stopped into the McDonalds to use the restroom - you needed an access code from a current receipt to get past the key-lock, but luckily someone else was coming out and let us in. You also had to hit an "Emergency" button to get back out again. We ran into her parents again, then into Nadia and Myron. We all decided to split up, as Kris wanted lunch at TGI Friday's. We headed back towards the hotel. We saw a trio of men in traditional Cossack outfits and took a few photos. The streets were pretty calm as we returned to the restaurant and stopped in there.

TGI Fridays and Back to the Hotel
Slideshow of Kyiv Photos - 65 images

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