Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Kyiv Day One

9th July

Kyiv is a busy city and the morning wake-up calls were the scenes of life and noise on a Sunday morning. Zhenia’s family offered us a large room all to ourselves for as long as we wished to reside in it. Volodia proposed to take us on our first excursion in Kyiv. Summer mornings aren’t complete without a fresh cup of kvas, sold from huge tanks on street corners. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this incredibly popular soft drink; it can only be likened to home brewed beer that you’ve impatiently decided to drink before the fermenting process has taken place. However, it’s great deal tastier than it sounds.

First stop: 0,5 L of kvas makes the doctors go away…

Tom and Volodya stand in front of St. Sophia’s Cathedral, Kyiv’s oldest standing church. “Old” as in 10th century old when the cathedral was built to celebrate Prince Yaroslav’s victory in protecting Kyiv from the assaults of tribal raiders.

Statue of the Cossack Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky who was fatally betrayed after signing a military alliance against Poland that ultimately permitted Russia control of western Ukraine.

Cobbled Andriyivsky uzviz (Andrew’s descent), one of Kyiv’s most charming and beloved streets, winds up to St. Andrew’s Church. The street is called after Kyiv’s first Christian preacher, Andrivy, who is said to have climbed the hill here, affixed a cross to its summit and returned via this path.

Zhenia and Volodya begin to make the descent down to Podol where many Ukrainian craft makers, souvenir sellers and painters line the street and offer passerby’s a lovely and unchanged landscape of this area.

Podol. My mother had lived in this building on the 2nd floor, somewhere in the middle of the apartment complex, for many years along with my grandmother and great-grandmother. In those days, the lingerie store downstairs (with the blue header) used to be a book store. Go figure.


Jerry said...

Makes me want to visit Kiev again. Mylast visit was 1968!

Anonymous said...

As crazy as it sounds my dear, I remember being carried around in a carriage at the podol. I remember strangers trying to feed me because I lived my first few years with my mouth open (and the next few following that..hehe)