When I told people I was heading to Kiev, many thought I was crazy. “Don’t fly Malaysian Airlines!”, “Get War-zone Insurance!”, they said (perhaps jokingly or seriously!). Well, I wasn’t going to listen to any of that because most of it is based on BS Western propaganda. The conflict is in the Eastern part of the country and yes, there may be demonstrations or protests that arise, but I was prepared to take caution if something would put me in danger. I also figured that if there were serious issues, the airspace would have been shut down. Yes, I may have been taking somewhat of a risk because something could have happened. That’s life. Live it or shove off!! I will never not travel because of terrorism, war, fear, or what ever other reason others try and keep us pacified by. Of course there are places I won’t currently travel to, but they are always on my mind as I wait for the opportunity to go. Sorry for the rant, but travel is a passion of mine. I’m willing to take a risk to do it.
The flight in was smooth. No rockets shooting us out of the sky! Though, the landing was a bit rough. I got on the bus to the Central Train Station and then decided to walk to the hostel. Looking back, I should have taken the tram. I thought the walk was much shorter than it was. Oh well, I checked in and decided to just hang out instead of going out into town.
In the morning I was trying to figure out where to go, using the useless visitors map I was given. It didn’t mark where anything was. I ended up buying a five-dollar map application for my phone, which ended up being very helpful. With it I was able to see all the sights I wanted to see. So the day was just me walking around taking pictures. I didn’t go into any of the churches because they pretty much all had some kind of service going on. Didn’t want to try and figure out what it was all about.
The most exciting part of my photo adventure was an undercover cop preventing me from taking a picture of the Communist Russian logo on a gate. He totally freaked out on me!! At least I wasn’t arrested. I guess with the current tensions, something like that may cause problems with pro Russian or pro European opinions. I even think I was tailed for awhile through the park I walked through after my ass biting and I started noticing that the place on many monuments where the Communist logo probably was, was now removed.
Golden Gate (Picture 1)
Saint Sophia’s Cathedral (Picture 1)
Saint Andrew’s Church (Picture 1)
Saint Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral (Picture 1)
Independance Square (Picture 1)
Overall, I really enjoyed my walk around Kiev. The churches were different than what I had been seeing on most of this trip, which was nice. I do wish I would have gone in a couple of them, but it will be something for next time. I just really hate bothering people worshiping. Sort of why I don’t venture far into the grounds of a mosque.
I didn’t have a lot of interaction with the Ukrainian people, outside of those at my hostel, but my impression was of a rudeness from what I am used to. The store clerks pretty much wanted nothing to do with me because I don’t speak there language. Pretty much the same ignorance many non-English speakers experience in the U.S. I’m sure!! Also, the language and the way people talk makes me feel like everyone is always yelling and unhappy with each other. A topic I will need to discuss the next time I run into a Ukrainian who speaks English!
After my sightseeing, I was pretty beat. It was a hot day, which was nice after all my cold days in Germany! I had the hostel dude call me a cab and take me to the airport. I totally recommend everyone to come to Ukraine, because there is nothing crazy going on here like the media is portraying. At least for the moment! I am also happy I got the opportunity to come here by chance. When my friend Nicole and I were putting together our leg of this summer backpacking trip, Ukraine was a destination we both wanted to go to. We didn’t because of time, but mostly because of the news. Well, there is so much to see in this country. I look forward to coming back!