Well, 5 degrees really. That is how many people it took to get my camera battery charger and manual back from the hotel in Kyiv. The hotel found it and held it for me, but after researching the postal service and pricing international carriers I had come to the conclusion that it was lost. I have had some problems with the post in Poland but in Ukraine the post works less well.
Fortunately, a mom from Miss H’s school told me that husband has business in Ukraine. So — 1) my friend N picked it up from the hotel 2) her partner T dropped it off with 3) a colleague of the husband, who then took it to the city of Lviv for a company meeting and 4) handed it off to the husband, who then brought it back to Warsaw and 5) gave it to the mom, who gave it back to me at the school. So there it is — my 5 degrees of separation Kyiv to Warsaw personal postal service! And a big thanks to everyone who helped with it!!
Now that we have that out of the way, I can show you some of our trip. We had gone to see family friends that we knew from Budapest (which included one of Hanna’s best friends from her first pre-school class.) These are the same friends that we visited in Sweden.
In Kyiv you wouldn’t know there is a war going on in the eastern part of the country — except for the fact that we were one of the few groups of tourists there. The city has an edgy, underground vibe with a lot of unique spots. And, all the orthodox churches are just beautiful.
Here is St. Michael’s with a wedding party out front.
A wide, sweeping boulevard in the center.
And, St. Andrew’s.
Some nice street art on buildings…
…and on automobiles (selling coffee). There were some of these in front of the all the parks. We grabbed a coffee while the girls were playing on the playground. More photos of cool playgrounds in the next post.
We had dinner a this cute cafe, street-side band included. My iPhone made this photo wash out but it was so nice to see the color liven up the bottom of the grey-brown buildings.
Of course the obligatory picture of an Ukrainian babushka selling her wares.
I loved the life sprouting up on this crumbling patio.
More cafe culture.
Traditional items for sale.
Independence square or Maiden as it is called locally is the place where the Orange Revolution took place in 2004. This is where protesters camped for weeks in the cold and snow to protest electoral fraud, and won — with a new election being ordered by the Supreme Court.
It is a convenient meeting place for locals but also is THE place for protests in the city, and the day we were there was no different. There were protests both silent and over the loud speaker.
With the protests and their strong feelings in the air, this car painted in Ukrainian pride was a nice way to end our visit to Independence Square.
We didn’t take Miss H with us to Independence Square. It was very hot that day and she was nursing a first sleepover lack-of-sleep ‘hangover’ so she had much more fun staying at her friend’s house. We also weren’t sure how big and rowdy the protesting crowd would be. It was quite small and on good behavior that day.
Kyiv is a cool city — a short flight from Warsaw and warmer and sunnier longer than here — so a great weekend away. I’m glad we went when we did, and here’s to a calm fall for Kyiv!
Stay tuned for more on some fun and artsy playgrounds we checked out with the girls.
By the way if you are wondering about my spelling of Kyiv, I changed it after our trip. I had been spelling it wrong. You can read some perspective why here.