Monday, August 27, 2012

Update from Kiev.

I think it's about time for an update on my life in Kiev (yeah, I moved there for three months with a friend). We've already been here for two or three weeks, and I hadn't bought any new books until yesterday. It's weird.

I started reading Taras Bulba. It's proving to be quite difficult.
 I also haven't visited any churches yet, but then that's partially because I've visited them before and we have visitors coming that we have to take to some tourist places. Not that churches are necessarily very touristy, but for people from Protestant countries Orthodox churches are quite spectacular. I did visit the Lavra, the Monastery of the Caves, founded in the 11th Century. When I went there I had a personal guide, a person who works in one of the very many buildings inside the convent area.

A cemetery inside the Lavra.

A bell tower constructed in various styles.
 I also walked up the Andrijivskij spusk. On weekends it's full of people selling souvenirs, crafts, stuff in general. It goes from St. Andrew's church on the top of the hill down to Podol, the old merchant part of town.
At the top of the hill.

St. Andrew's church.

I bought my books from a woman at the bottom of the hill. First, she tried to speak to us in English, and switched to Russian when I protested. The, when I said I was interested in Ukrainian books, she switched to Ukrainian. I am told, over and over again, that I shouldn't have gone to Kiev if I wanted to learn Ukrainian, because no one speaks Ukrainian in Kiev. Only, they really do. I hear Ukrainian all the time, you see it everywhere on the streets, and I really have to practice my Russian as well anyway, so it's a win-win situation.

We now have two days of rain coming up. It feels quite nice after a couple of days of 30°C, and I only wish I had a bottle of whiskey to go with my new books. I am contemplating a visit to the huge historical museum today, with an obligatory stop in a café somewhere with dear Taras.


  1. If you visit Kiev in winter, cozy cafes are perfect places to save yourself from cold. There is very snowy and frosty weather. Just find a place in a directory of Kiev cafes  to have a shelter, warm atmosphere and taste Ukrainian food. But in Ukraine Travel guide you will find much more then cafes. There is everything for comfortable Ukraine tourism including hotels, apartments, bars, pubs, taxis etc.

  2. Hey! If you ever happen to be in Ukraine again, be sure to visit Lviv. While Kiev is the capital of Ukraine, Lviv is its soul! It's a real pleasure to take a walk in the old part of Lviv after having a cup of coffee :) Lviv would also be the best place to go if you want to practice Ukrainian :)

    P.S. So do you just learn different languages and then read literature in a new language? By the way, how hard did you find learning Ukrainian or Russian languages when compared to the others? English seems to be way easier, right? :)