Sunday July 28, 2013

Landed in Kyiv late last night (Saturday July 27), after what was a good two days of travel. Myroslava (our tour guide's girlfriend) picked me up at the airport and helped me find my hotel. She doesn't speak a lot of English, so it was a great way to be immersed into Ukrainian language! Fortunately my mind was alert enough, that I was able to have a conversation with her for the duration of the cab ride. 

Hotel Ibis is very modern!

I stayed the night in the fantastic, Hotel Ibis which is close to the centre of "Old Kyiv", so I was able to spend the morning and afternoon wandering the streets on my own. The hotel itself is brand new, affordable and has a decent (but expensive) restaurant. I lucked into getting a room with a great view. 

Maidan Nezalezhnosti (independence square). It got it's name when Ukraine reached independence in 1991. It was also the location of the Orange Revolution.

I walked from my hotel to Maidan which is about a 2.5km walk. Keep in mind the hilly cobblestone streets, and an out-of-shape North American so both ways the walk took me a little while. On my way, I passed many landmarks from my last visit to Kyiv such as Taras Shevchenko University, old men playing chess in the park, and the sketchy underground pedestrian tunnels. 

With no goal for the day, other than to be back to my hotel on time, I had a relaxing afternoon exploring the city and taking pictures. I got to practice my Ukrainian by purchasing a SIM card for my phone as well as calling my mom's cousin in Lviv to tell them that I had successfully arrived. 

I made it back to the hotel to meet Myroslava and we are now off to the train station so I can catch my overnight ride to Chernivtsi!

I'm always fascinated by these stairways.

Taras Schevchenko University in Kyiv.