Ukraine Travelogue -
This is the short version of the travelogue. There is also a Long Version and a Slideshow of Kyiv with 155 images for this day.
Arriving via Train in Kyiv
We got about 3 hours of sleep before Stephanie woke us up, because the sheet nazi wanted her sheets back already. We handed those in and slept a bit more on the bare mattress before wearily getting up and ready to disembark about 7am. Note that for this ENTIRE day I was feeling "train legs" - things felt like they were moving.
Getting off the train was much easier than getting on, but there was a very long staircase in the train station to lug our luggage up. Then we found the mini-van. They wanted us to leave for the 3 hr church tour immediately with no food or drink! We put our feet down and went upstairs to get food. It was a fast food Ukrainian restaurant which was rather tasty; I got sticky rice and orange juice.
The 3 hr tour involved a driving tour of Kiev - where Kris and I couldn't see anything because of the over-stuffed luggage - and then 3 churches. They all sort of ran together in our state of sleep deprivation. One church had an exhibit on the Ukrainian Famine of the 1930s. This famine was deliberately caused by Russia to subjugate the Ukrainian people. The tour guide said that they were never taught about this in school and she only learned about it herself when Canadian visitors asked her about it. Now it is being made more public.
Finally we got to the hotel and only had 1/2 hr to check in. Kris and I took speed showers anyway, and made it downstairs again with everyone else. Mom and Len stayed at the hotel now to recoup because of his foot injury. The rest of us went to an Ukrainian restaurant which was really tasty - but in which the servers only spoke Russian.
On to the Kiev Cave Monastery. We walked around a bit and then the guide took us RIGHT past the cave part which was the whole aim of coming here. A discussion ensued. Apparently she didn't think we were dressed appropriately and it wasn't part of her plan. We persevered and finally she took us down there. We had to get skirts for the guys, head shawls and rent long overcoats. The caves were about 15 minutes in length to visit, were quite interesting, but were also very hot and cramped.
We headed back to the hotel. The tour group leader met us there and had a long talk with Stephanie in Ukrainian about the problems, and then we went to bed. Kris and I slept straight through, without dinner, until the following morning.
Wed - Open Air Museum
Slideshow of Kyiv Photos - 155 images
Ukraine Travelogue home page
Lisa Shea Homepage