In the backyards
We arrived in Kiev in the evening and celebrated our arrival and being with friends long into the night. The
next day started rather slow. We where walking the streets of Kiev, looking behind the scenes. While many
buildings are from the soviet era, in the old quarters there are older buildings, that survived the war and are
still in use.
There are beautiful old houses, hidden in the backyards of modern buildings. They look rather shabby but are
still in use. Almost like an enchanted castle, these islands are hard to find, living a secret life.
I really loved the subway. It is spectacular and probably only second to the moscow subway. There are, marble
covered walls, figurines, mosaics and endless ecalators, illuminated by art deco chandeliers. You have to buy
tokens at a counter, then feed the access barriers with a token to enter the subway.
There are 3 lines with only few connections between them. Note the a station has different names for the
red or green line, although it is the same station. For example the station Maidan is on the blue line,
the same station on the green line is called Khreshatyk.
Sightseeing in Kiev
Some places are a must see, simply because they are world famous.
Maidan – the square that gave the name to the massive protest that led to the demise of the ukrainian gouvernment in 2014!
Rodina mat – the huge statue overlooking the city and Dniepr river. Symbol of the motherland and a war memorial. Although soviet symbols are banned in Ukraine, that does not include the war times and despite fierce discussions, the statue still stands. For some, it stands for the victory over the german invaders, for others it is a symbol of soviet oppression, preventing Ukraine to be a free country of its own. The discussion will probably go on.
Dniepr – the river itself, one of the big european waters, dividing the city and providing beautiful beaches and places to be outside, meet people and enjoy the sunset. In the evenings, especially on weekends, half of the city seems to be here, grilling, fishing, drinking beer and having a nice evening.
Gay pride Kiev
It was hard to find out, where and when to meet for the gay pride in Kiev. We finally figured it out, arrived 10 minutes late and ran into the police, that guarded the event. “Too late, nobody can pass anymore!” was the simple answer. We missed it, instead watched a lot of robocop styled police.
Everybody seemed to watch and film, take notes and monitor the action, that did not take place. Human rights watch, police and the nazis, that threatened to turn the pride into a bloodbath. Non of that ever happened, but it seems to be ok to show off nazi symbols in public.
In and out
From Oslo via Riga to Kiev, Air Baltic
From the airport at Borispol to Kiev by bus or taxi. The taxi should not cost more than 150,- gry, buses are cheaper and go to the city center.
Within Kiev you can use the subway or the “mashrutkas”, literally “routed taxis”, small buses, that can get you everywhere, as long, as you know, which line to take to get to your destination.