The Heart of the City

Trip Start Oct 11, 2011
Trip End Oct 31, 2011

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Flag of Ukraine  ,
Friday, October 14, 2011

    In what was becoming the usual start to the day in Kiev, I  woke up at six and headed out the door by seven.  After grabbing a macciatto at the closest CofeDays, I started north of the hostel.  In the park I stopped briefly to watch a group of about one hundred police officers receive their patrol assignments for the day.  For once it wasn't raining, so it provided an opportunity to stand and linger around in certain spots.  I stopped to watch scores of people starting their day off with prayers and services at St. Volodymyr's Cathedral. Coming from a country as secular as Canada, it was astounding the number of young professionals rushing in and out before heading off to work.   
     Past the opera house i went again, and this time though continuing to Saint Sofia Cathedral and then onward to St. Michael's Cathedral.  There were very few tourists out in the morning, so much of the sights allowed me to take in the natural going ons of the people without the interruption of large tour buses and groups blocking the ways.  Most of the people I talked to in Kiev, and later in Uzbekistan, assumed i was there as a professional photographer.  One look at my photos would have betrayed me instantly, therefore, no one saw my pictures.   
     The afternoon i spent hanging around Independence Square and it's local shops, then later on to the parks along the government district.  Unfortunately, due to the trial of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, much of the government buildings and the supreme courthouse was under very heavy security and mired with police, protesters and journalists.  
     On my way back, I passed the last remaining statue of Vladamir Lennin, and surrounding it, a band of Soviet flags and supporters holding political plac cards.  It was interesting to see the old generation clinging to the "good old days" of communism and rallying for it's return.  But despite their love of the soviet era, you would be hard pressed to find a supporter of Stalin.  Through his oppression of Ukraine and engineered famines, millions in the Ukraine died. During the second world war, Ukraine was sacrificed by Stalin as they pulled back from the Nazi's, and in doing so, obliterated the countryside.   
     As the night approached I stayed in the area of Independence Square for some night photos and street performers.  As the rain clouds began to roll in i headed my way back to the hostel where I was greeted by three Slovenian girls who would prove to be the loudest people I've ever heard at three in the morning, but that's what you get for staying in a hostel I guess.
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