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Kiev II

Figuring readers would be all churched out yesterday I purposely refrained from adding another exhibit. This being a favourite.

Saint Sophia’s Cathedral. Enclosed inside a walled garden it’s the first heritage site in Ukraine to be inscribed on the world heritage list.

Saint Sophia’s Cathedral bell tower.

On the way to dinner I passed an umbrella sales lady. You can take the boy out of Australia ...part I.

Colourful Kiev street scenery enroute to the not so cheerful Chernobyl Museum in suburbia Kiev.

Chernobyl sits a mere 70 km northwest of Kiev and it’s difficult to believe it occurred as long ago as 1986. It, along with the disaster at Fukishima are the only two nuclear accidents to be classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale. What isn’t highly publicised is that this accident occurred in no.4 reactor and yet electricity was continued to be produced from the no.3 reactor until as recently as 2000.

A cold but clear day yesterday morphed into a cold and very wet day today. Originally built as a symbol of the friendship between the Soviet Union and Ukraine back in 1982 this arch is now a memorial dedicated to the veterans of the ongoing conflict in Donbass. It’s 50 meters in diameter and made of titanium.

Merely metres from the arch is a zip line that takes participants across the Dnieper River. Bit too much of a schlep back for my liking. Anyway, it was closed.

Autumn has definitely arrived it seems. Steps leading to Kiev’s “City Park” and through to the Water Museum and Kiev Art Gallery. (Things you’re driven to do on a wet cold day. )

Probably the most architectural pleasing entrance to a football ground I have ever seen. Home to “Dynamo Kiev Football Club”

The Motherland Monument. Hard to get a guage from this photo of just how big this statue is so trust me when I say it’s impressively large. Here’s some statistics in case you’re doubting me. It’s stainless steel and stands 62 meters (just over 200 ft) high atop a museum building which makes the overall structure 102 meters (335 ft) . As a reference point the Statue of Liberty in NYC is 93 meters high.

The sword in her right hand is 16 meters long (52 feet) and weighs 9 tons. You can climb to the top of the shield. But get this. To access the stairs to do the climb you have to go through the museum and they don’t allow you to wear your jacket in the museum. Good enough reason for me not to do it then in light of the inclement weather.

Would you believe me if I said this statue stands outside the offices of the “Bureau of Internal Affairs” . Talk about a parody of what actually occurs inside the offices.

Entrance gates to the Kiev Metro......You can take the boy out of Australia but .....part II

The Kiev metro has a station that’s 105 meters (346 feet) underground. It makes for a long escalator ride. This isn’t that one but rather my local station known as Ploscha Lva Tolstoho and was still the longest escalator ride I have ever taken.

A single ride anywhere on the metro will set you back 5 HVR. That’s 14 pence. (Approx 23 AUD cents). A bus ride on the trolley buses will set you back 4 HVR. 11 pence or approx AUD 18 cents. Both are equally as efficient as anything TFL has to offer and cleaner.

Not all churches are gold domed. Having said that this one is still under construction so perhaps that what comes last.

Observations

: if you have never got to Kiev I’d strongly recommend putting it on your list. Aside from them needing your tourist money it’s a city that has plenty to offer and I would suggest 3 days will give you plenty of time to cover it. Me thinks March to May before it gets too hot as the optimal time to visit.

: basic commodities are cheap. Eating out in Kiev is the most expensive of the countries I have visited in this part of the world but still probably all in about 30-40 % cheaper than the UK

: a smoker on the free walking tour yesterday was telling me a a packet of cigarettes will cost you 90 pence

: a pint of beer I discovered is the same. 90 pence.

: imported cars (which is about 95% of the cars on the road ) are 30% more expensive than in Germany

: anything tech related likewise. More expensive than the average punter pays in Western Europe.

: most of the wine in restaurants is Romanian

: you cannot fly directly to the Soviet Union from Ukraine

: you cannot enter Belarus from Ukraine on a normal 5 day tourist visa unless you fly into and out of Minsk Airport. Forget trying to transit through the country overland enroute to anywhere else.

: the wealthy here have zero qualms about letting you know about it

: if you’re ever in Kiev make a point of going to “Barricade” Bar and Restaurant

: don’t get dragged into a Cherry Flavoured (there’s about 25 different ones) Vodka shot drinking episode with a fellow tourist from southern Poland. There’s only one way the night will end and it’s not good.

: don’t try and stare down any male Ukranian over the age of 5

: take the metro or a bus. You’ll be pleasantly surprised

: Putin is not well liked. I walked past an avenue of souvenir sellers yesterday. I could’ve bought toilet paper with Vladimir’s face on it or even a door mat.

: the security industry does a good trade in Kiev. Public and private.

: Theres a noticeable lack of animals on the streets. Wild or privately owned. Which given their numbers everywhere else I have visited in this part of the world makes it somewhat surprising.

: Parliament House here is the most heavily guarded of any I have seen. Anywhere. Not just Europe.

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