Kiev – Ukraine
A little delayed but here’s a post about my time in Kiev before Christmas.
I had 2 choices to get from Odessa to Kiev, train or bus. I chose the latter and was about to have my first experience of Ukrainian roads. I will never again complain about potholes back home; the roads in Ukraine are full of them! The bus itself was pretty good, quite comfortable and despite the bumps it wasn’t a bad journey.
On arrival in Kiev I found a metro station and stood staring at the metro map like a lost child. A couple of helpful soldiers showed me which train to get and which stop to get off at. The next task was to find the hostel, no signs anywhere and the instructions on the website were as useful as a chocolate teapot.
The hostel seemed to be located in the ghetto and once I finally found the building I ascended the grimy stairs and checked in. It was more of an apartment than a hostel and it was full of locals who seemed to be living there. In fact, I was the only tourist.
There were no lockers for valuables and people seemed generally unfriendly. If you go to Kiev then I don’t recommend the Like Hostel as there’s not much to like. I spent one night here and then moved onto another hostel.
The hostel I moved to was called ZigZag and I would definitely recommend it. Friendly helpful staff, plenty of toilets and showers plus there were other tourists staying there too! I met up with Jesse who had also stayed at the Grand Babushka Hostel in Odessa.
Impressions of Kiev
Walking down the main street Khreshchatyk and onto Maiden square it’s hard to believe that 2 years earlier there was a revolution, people on the streets, burning tires and buildings, loss of life. On the square itself were banners and photos of those people who lost their lives during the revolution.
Aside from the reminders, the area just seemed like a normal, everyday area. A few tourists milling about and the most irritating bunch of people dressed in costumes, trying to hug you in exchange for money. After my Odessa eagles experience I make my intentions clear!
One evening we went to a posh bar called ‘The Bar.’ Expensive cars lined the pavements outside, chauffeurs waiting patiently for the rich people inside. There seems to be a lot of monied people in Kiev, a small portion of the population no doubt but they certainly oozed wealth.
I paid the same here for a glass of rose as I would in the UK. They call it pink wine in Ukraine and they didn’t have a clue what I was talking about when I asked for it. It was a pretty cool place though; clearly everyone goes there to be seen.
Food was pretty cheap, although a bit more expensive that Odessa. It also depended on where you went because there were cheaper places, which were buffet style but the food wasn’t brilliant. I went to a proper restaurant too, it was expensive and the portions were tiny. I had to eat 2 desserts to make up for it.
I was intending to go to Chernobyl but I didn’t book it in time so that will have to wait for another day. I enjoyed my time in Kiev, it’s a cool city that’s not too big and not as unfriendly as somewhere like London. If you get the chance then it’s definitely worth a visit.