Back in Kiev

Yes, I am now back in Kiev. I arrived smack on 05:37 this morning, as per the timetable and the ticket. It is a good job the cafe was open. No sign of any more snow here but it has turned colder. Minus seven degrees. And it felt like it sat in the park this afternoon having a cigar.

I have had another busy day site seeing around Kiev. I won’t bore with the detail, but it was well worth it. Including the art gallery (to which I am a bit partial). Third only to Moscow and St Petersburg for fantastic art. Well worth the time looking around. It appears Sunday is family day out in Kiev. The whole family dressed up in as many layers as possible with mandatory hat and gloves taking loads of photos, just like me.

One thing I may not have mentioned is that very, very few people where glasses. There is still a social stigma (no pun intended) to wearing them. I.E. you do not do any hard manual labour, enough said. There is also a practical issue, When you come in from minus whatever, into a nice humid and warm shop, internet cafe or bar, your glasses mist up and you can’t see anything for the first few minutes. You certainly get some odd looks, not that I was able to see them me being stood at the door waiting and all.

Also the darkness of the windows on any car is directly proportional to the price and status of the car. All Ladas have clear windows and all BMWs, Mercedes Benz, Audis etc… have completely blacked out windows. An odd custom that everybody seems to adhere to. As Taras said to me “in the past ten years the rich have got richer and the poor have got poorer” his word not mine, but the car scenario is prime evidence that is not that wide of the mark.

I have enjoyed the past week (even though it seems like two). Ukraine has been full of surprises and highlights, meeting up with Taras, Khotyn and Kamyanets – Podilsky forts/castles, the quality and service of the food (not forgetting the beer) has been particularly good. Kiev and Lviv historical architecture and a fascinating glimpse into a working town like Chernivitsi.

I am now off to get the bus to the airport.

I hope you have enjoyed these emails. As usual, any more questions you have just let me know.

Until the next time travel fans.