If I have been impressed with the Orthodox Church scene thus far on the trip (and I have) then some of the churches in Kiev take it to a new level.
Exhibit A - St Michael’s Church . Built in the 1990’s it is truly stunning both inside and out.
There’s a strong coffee culture in Ukraine. I noticed it in Odesa and it runs true in Kiev too.
“Cuba coffee brew bar”. A small hole in the wall type place, standing room only, of which there are many in Kiev. This one made a pretty special flat white.
As I noted in Chişinău nearly every city on tour has had a triumphal arch. Kiev is no different and here the patron saint of Kiev, St Michael , stands proud.
In Kiev’s general post office they make it as clear as mud which letter box you should use.
In Independence Square the wounds from the 2014 revolution still run deep. What was once an administrative building was almost razed to the ground by fire during the demonstrations. They’re now attempting to rebuild it into a hospital.
Did I say Kiev had some stunning churches?
Exhibit B - St Andrews church.
That’s not an optical illusion. Possibly the worlds smallest cheese croissant.
What was once a main road leading up the hill to Parliament House has been turned into a pedestrian memorial to those who fell during the 2014 revolution. (102 dead and 166 missing) . Along that small wall in the foreground are individual shrines to each of the fallen with a photo of them. The yellow building with the grand columns is Kiev’s Opera Hall.
Fashioned off the Gaudi park in Barcelona the residents of this suburb self funded something similar to prevent a shopping mall being erected on their front doorstep.
: anyone under 35 seemingly speaks pretty good English.
: women still wear fur coats in this part of the world
: Pepsi’s penetration in Ukraine is far deeper than Coca Cola’s
: Like Chicago and Toronto you can walk multiple blocks of the city underground. Like Chicago and Toronto it gets to -25 C in winter.
: Almost every building in Kiev was built from the 1950’s onwards. When the Russians retreated from the German onslaught they decided to destroy the city to leave the Nazi’s nothing. A few years of reconstruction took place and then the Germans did the same when faced with defeat by the allied forces.
: Prior to WWII the Bolsheviks had destroyed nearly every church.
: Kiev is based on several hills
: Kiev is by far the most advanced and modern city that I have visited on tour.
: As is well documented the communists loved a grand building. Not all of them of totally ugly design either.
: Upon entering an Orthodox Church there are 3 rooms/sectors of the church. The front room is for those who are not yet baptised. The middle and largest room is for those baptised who when attending service do not sit but rather stand. Women to the left and men to the right. The 3rd room lies behind a very very ornate screen with a small entry door. Behind here the priests seek guidance and direction before emerging to lead prayers.
: The free walking tour of Kiev was like every other free walking tour on this trip 2 hours well spent.
: Every suburb seemingly has its own very ornate church.