Kyiv is fast beginning to feel like a kind of second home to me. It’s just such a rewarding city – with a combination of Soviet architecture, monuments, ancient history and fantastic food that makes it a heaven for someone like me.
But it’s not all concrete and tunnels in the Ukrainian capital. I know you wouldn’t guess it from the articles I’ve been posting, but Kyiv is extremely beautiful in the conventional sense too. Monasteries, parks, and far more trees than you’d expect for a metropolis of this size.
For that reason, I thought I’d share a few of my ‘prettier’ photos from Kyiv right here. These are far too nice to ever appear on the front page of my website, but I do sometimes feel like I’m only telling you half of the story. Kyiv is truly beautiful.
See for yourself…
Pechersk Lavra Monastery Complex
The monastery was severely damaged during WWII, so what you’re seeing is largely reconstructed. Beneath the church, a network of catacombs is lined with the mummified bodies of monks and priests. It takes forever to get through – the corridors are full of old women in headscarves who stop to cross themselves and kiss the glass at every corpse along the way.
Views Over the Dnieper
The Holodomor Memorial
Okay, so I couldn’t resist slipping some political content in here too. The graffiti in the next photo calls on citizens to “Boycott the Occupation” accompanied by a crossed-out Russian flag.
The following images were taken during a demonstration that I accidentally wandered into one afternoon. As I understood it, state pensions promised to victims of the Chernobyl disaster (largely labourers and factory workers who’d lost their jobs after the evacuation) had been cut by the new government. These workers took to the streets to express their discontent, walking to the Mariinsky Palace – ceremonial residence of the Ukrainian President – to bang their tools and hard helmets against the railings. The day was peaceful, despite a large turnout of both protestors and police… but nevertheless, it hints at the discontent which still lingers beneath the surface even after the recent political reforms.
Pictured here: dry fish, beer-in-a-jar and horseradish vodka.
The Golden Gate