Київ Day 4(3) – 22 Nov 2009 (Киев/Kiev/Kyiv)

Київ Day 4(3) – 22 Nov 2009 (Киев/Kiev/Kyiv)

First off, the promised night shots of Kyiv following our adventure in Chernobyl earlier in the day:

Independence Square

Independence Square

The Music Hall and bridge

The Music Hall and Bridge

Arch at night

Arch at night

Looking northward out over the Dnieper

Looking northward out over the Dnieper

Southward, looking over the riverwatchmen's back.

Southward, looking over the riverwatchmen’s back. I felt safe walking alone in the dark all night. I was only startled once by a stray dog, and after it came out of its shelter barking at me, I prepared to go in the other direction but it sat down on its haunches and began licking itself. So it was cool.

Up at the top of the park, St. Mykhail's Cathedral.

Up at the top of the park, St. Mykhail’s Cathedral.

From the riverwatchmen's point of view. I took this shot over 10 times, experimenting with the focus and shutter exposure time. I was surprised at how much I learned about my camera. Anyway, I was finally satisfied by this one.

From the riverwatchmen’s point of view. I took this shot over 10 times, experimenting with the focus and shutter exposure time. I was surprised at how much I learned about my camera. Anyway, I was finally satisfied by this one.

After, I headed back to the hostel to get a good night’s sleep before our final day in Kyiv. In the morning we woke early and got onto the metro toward the southern end of the city to see the WWII memorial park and the Motherland Statue. We got off at the same metro station as for the Lavra and began walked down that same street.

Same stretch of street as 2 days ago.

Same stretch of street as 2 days ago.

Hiding on the left side of the road, this statue surprised us. I learned afterward that it is of the 4 founders of Kyiv: the brothers Kiy, Schchek and Khoriv and their sister Lybed (on right).

Hiding on the left side of the road, this statue surprised us. I learned afterward that it is of the 4 founders of Kyiv: the brothers Kiy, Schchek and Khoriv and their sister Lybed (on right).

On our guide map there is a silhouette of something that looks like the Statue of Liberty and so we were all confused until we saw this:

The statue of the motherland. The statue is made of chrome nickel steel and weighs 550 tons. Including the base it stands at 102 meters. In the left hand the figure is holding a shield which is decorated with the state symbol of the USSR. In the right hand there is a sword which weighs 12 tons and is 16 meters long.

The statue of the motherland. She is made of chrome nickel steel and weighs 550 tons. Including the base it stands at 102 meters. In the left hand the figure is holding a shield which is decorated with the state symbol of the USSR. In the right hand there is a sword which weighs 12 tons and is 16 meters long.

Up the many stairs to the top of the hill.

Up the many stairs to the top of the hill.

Finally, we reached the top.

Finally, we reached the top.

She was pretty magnificent.

She was pretty magnificent.

Turning to the right, the park held more amazing statues and a tunnel memorializing WWII.

Turning to the right, the park held more amazing statues and a tunnel memorializing WWII.

Going inside the tunnel.

Going inside the tunnel.

John pulling the trigger.

John pulling the trigger.

Me standing at the base of a big bowl. There was an impressive view from up there.

Me standing at the base of a big bowl. There was an impressive view from up there.

The southern view.

The southern view. (Right-Click for larger)

The northern view: looking up at the Lavra. This made me feel as if I was in the middle ages, these amazing cathedrals on the top of the hill over looking the river and me walking toward them to finish my journey.

The northern view: looking up at the Lavra. This made me feel as if I was in the middle ages, these amazing cathedrals on the top of the hill over looking the river and me walking toward them to finish my journey.

To top it off, we got a sunny day. Staring at these towers from atop the adjacent hill made me feel great.

To top it off, we got a sunny day. Staring at these towers from atop the adjacent hill made me feel great.

Then we walked to another metro station to see the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial. We saw these along the way:

Ukrainian graffiti, does it look the same?

Ukrainian graffiti, does it look the same?

Some Kyiv Apartments

Some Kyiv Apartments

We made it to the metro and traveled to the north part to get off at Babi Yar. At our exit point metro station I finally had an experience where the language barrier really made a difference and I felt totally helpless.

The metro exited to an underground market area, like it seems to do here and we decided to walk into the store to load up on some food. I brought up the rear and was a bit behind everyone, enough for there to be a gap to allow other people to cross in between us. I turned a corner around a pillar and noticed a young woman being directed by two older men. I didn’t think of it as anything at first so I lowered my gaze, and both them and I turned to avoid each other. As I lowered my head I saw her cane and realized she was blind and then noticed that each of the men were clasping her arms tightly, one man on each side. Immediately, I looked back up and saw fear in her face. I quickly glanced at the two men’s faces as we finally passed each other and noticed subtle paranoid look in their faces. I thought, “Ask her if she needs help,” and then realized I couldn’t, as I didn’t speak Ukrainian, and I didn’t even know how to say it in Russian.” So I just stood there. And did nothing. Then I followed my friends and asked them about it, but as it was purely my intuition that interpreted the encounter, I had no proof they just let it go. Although, it still bothered me it was at this point too late to do anything. So I spent the rest of my day bothered, and embarrassed of my inaction, trying to justify what happened with “intuition is flawed.” I guess this is how people get away with stuff in front of crowds of people.

But we made it to the Holocaust memorial. I didn’t know about 30,000 Jews were killed here in WWII and buried in mass graves, underneath where this monument stands.

A radio tower just next to the Babi Yar Holocaust memorial.

A radio tower just next to the Babi Yar Holocaust memorial.

Babi Yar monument

Babi Yar monument

From the topside.

From the topside.

Then we made our way over to a cemetery across the street, unrelated to the Holocaust. A pleasant surprise walked toward us on the way.

Hey! A Rhodesian Ridgeback. It's the third one I've seen since coming to Russia.

Hey! A Rhodesian Ridgeback. It’s the third one I’ve seen since coming to Russia.

The cemetery. Can you tell what the major religion is over here? It was a bit disappointing, as it wasn't as interesting as some really old graveyards in England or someplace like that.

The cemetery. Can you tell what the major religion is over here? It was a bit disappointing, as it wasn’t as interesting as some really old graveyards in England or someplace like that.

After this we headed back to the hostel to grab our stuff, eat a quick dinner, and board our train home.

Politicians, we think, were speaking at Independence Square as there is an election soon. At first I thought it was a communist revolution and got excited. It quickly became dull so we left.

Politicians, we think, were speaking at Independence Square as there is an election soon. At first I thought it was a communist revolution and got excited. It quickly became dull so we left.

Our final dinner at "Pizzahta Hahta"

Our final dinner at “Pizzahta Hahta”

The Kyiv train station.

The Kyiv train station.

Our train arriving. It whistled at me.

Our train arriving. It whistled at me.

We boarded the train and as usual, I didn’t get as much sleep as I would have preferred. But we made it back and that’s what counts.

One Responseto “Київ Day 4(3) – 22 Nov 2009 (Киев/Kiev/Kyiv)”

  1. Papa says:

    Caleb your pictures are out of this world! I have enjoyed them and your comments. I hope your math is as good as your pictures and that you have a good time on the trip home.
    Love
    Papa

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