Trip Start Feb 17, 2012
27Trip End Apr 28, 2012
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Where I stayed
Dnipro Hotel Kiev
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Getting from Moscow to Kiev was harder and longer than it should have been. Probably because I slept in & was late, very late, forgot to pack a number of things, it's all a bit of a vague haze. I was certain I was the drunkest person on that station at 8.26am. Not bad after getting out of bed at 7.40am, as opposed to 6am. Not quite sure how I managed to figure it all out, but I did. Carriage 11 on a 6 carriage train, 11 coming right after carriage 24 makes is nonsense at the best of times. Let alone after polishing the last (3 bottles is where memory starts to lapse) of the Russian Standard.
It only took 16 hours on a sleeper train, most of which were sleeping, or pretending to be sleeping from knife wielding weirdos and other various undesirables
After being woken from my vodka-fueled-last-evening-in-Russia haze by the humourless Russian border control who assumed I was the villain and demanded a search of my bags, I realized my bag was a bit lighter than it should have been. All my toiletries and a few more than useful guide books, and gifts are probably on a Moscow street market. All that surived is Small’s requested CCCP t-shirt and a few Putin / Medvedev hologram fridge magnets. Let the bidding begin.
Did I mention I arrived just as the famous soccer team here Dynamo Kiev had just wrapped up their match and about 70,000 intoxicated thugs, villains, louts, hoons, hooligans, whoo haa’s were prowling the streets. I saw three ass kickings on the way to the hotel, glad Dynamo Kiev won otherwise the severly hungover, backpack tourist boy would have been an easy target.
Welcome to Kiev, Ukraine. Host city of the Euro 2012 finals.
Not sure whats happened to the weather, but its been +13 to +18 here. This is a heatwave and is t-shirt weather
After the wildness of Russia, Kiev has been a nice chilled out pace its nothing like Russia at all. Its probably closer to Helsinki than anything else. More of a sleazy vibe though, as the term resturant is quite vague in what is offers. Similar to that “resturant” in Moscow, that’s menu consisted of Russian, Ukrainian, Asian, Blonde, Brunette, etc.
No one seems to work here. They just hang around the main square, beers in hand, lurking. It may be 8am on a Monday or midday on a Wednesday or just late any night, no difference. Do some work. They don’t seem to have pub’s here, you just get your beers from the quick-e-mart and drink out on the street.
Highlights include going down into monestary caves that are cramped, dark (only candle lit) and more than eery. Good fun to jump out and scare the kids. The Soviet War museum was also interesting, the Ukrainians (and Soviets overall) suffered massive loss of life, greater than 30M or about 1 in 4 of the population. The scale of the human toll is phenominal and they present it well.
Met a heap of wanker travellers here who just want to get into a pissing contest about how more ‘authentic’ and 'better' and 'real' their trip is as they are staying on locals couches, doing volunteer work, assisting the locals. Who cares scumbag, I'm having a great time, and its also worth noting that my shit stinks right back through the door too from my lair on the 12th floor of the 4.5 star Dnipro Hotel w/queen bed, bath, hot water, mini bar, buffet breakfast, heated towel rack, MTV, casino, etc. I work for a big, bad bank (hopefully not much longer) and spend my evil corporation money wisely! Get a job, have a bath and get a haircut hippy and contribute to society.
In all my little church visits, I say a pray hoping you stay with Ed Gein’s Ukrainian cousin. Look that basterd up if you dare. It’s bad enough it sounds like your having a bad time, but only an A-grade asshole would try and make me think I’m having a bad time.
There’s no need for that gibberish. That sounded like a rant.
The locals speaking zero English are a more intelligent conversation
Anyone headed here for that in 80 days or so is in for a wild ride!
Oh, and Ukraine’s most famous export, Women - they are as stunning as all the rumour’s would have you believe.
And one final note, Vale Jim Stynes.
Off to see the Count.
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