The second (and last) stop of my trip to Ukraine took me to Kyiv, as complex and exciting as it is. In this city of about four million people, on the banks of the Dnieper, we constantly pass from one world to another. The richness of the Orthodox Churches, the embalmed Saints, the Orange Revolution, the memories of the Soviet era, Euromaidan and the twenty-first century that began, innovative, feverish, overflowing with desires … Three hours by plane from Paris, Kyiv deserves to have spent a long weekend there, or even more If so
If Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe, the standard of living is higher in Kyiv than anywhere else. The capital tries to live as much western fashion as possible, as restaurants, bars, and modern places thrive and welcome young people who crave pleasure.
Like the other day, when I told you about Odessa, I would like to answer a question many travelers have asked themselves. Can we go to Ukraine today? I mean, is this reasonable, given that French diplomacy officially advises against going to specific regions?
The answer is yes, we can go to Ukraine without any problem. Provided that the Crimea and Donbas, the administrative regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, are inevitably avoided. There, in the east of the country, the armed conflict still opposes the Ukrainian army and Russian-speaking separatists who partially occupy these lands.
On the other hand, there is no problem in Kyiv, as you will quickly see for yourselves … No problem, therefore, to visit this capital. But why do you choose to go there?
1. It is easy, without visa requirements
Let it be said, we do not need a visa for Ukraine. Unlike Russia. So if you want to travel easily, while you are entitled to golden lamps for the glittering Orthodox churches in the sun, choose Ukraine!
2.Because the destination is really inexpensive
Ukraine, the poorest country in Europe, is a really cheap destination. When I say Europe, of course, I do not mean the European Union. Because even if she dreamed of a secret (Galina recognized him, our wonderful guide, … even before the first vodka cup), Ukraine is not part of the European Union.
It had just had distinguished relations with the latter, which were defined by the 1994 Budapest Conventions. Then it was strengthened by the signing, in 1998, of a partnership and cooperation agreement. But the European Union is still far away, as is the standard of living of Poland or the Baltic states, which has returned to Europe.
3.Because Lourde Catacombs alone are worth a visit
It is the Lord of the Orthodox, meaning that the place is sacred. Spiritually and wonderfully important, especially when you discover it in bright sunlight. It is impossible to describe this entire complex, which covers 28 hectares and where 120 siblings still live.
At the top, a series of churches (Saint Nicholas, Trinity Church, etc.) contains many wonders.
Oddly enough, there are also a number of museums on-site, including the amazing Miniature Museum of Medicine. I don’t have pictures to show you around because photos are banned. But you need to know that you will find incredible things like the smallest chessboard in the world, placed on top of a pin (a special dedication to my father). Or a picture of Russian Allied musician (re-dedication …) engraved on a grain of half a poppy.
These are the catacombs of 123 embalmed monks, including a large number of saints. To understand the existence of these monuments from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, you should know that the monastery was founded in 1051 by Saint Anthony, a Greek monk. With his student Theodosius, they dug caves, where they lived as hermits, with other monks, to flee the world. After their deaths, the bodies remained there, preserved naturally thanks to the freshness and the absence of moisture.
Together with my traveling companions, we went to the catacombs, where taking photos is of course forbidden. The hijab for girls, a candle in hand for everyone, made little progress in a long line of pilgrims. If you have indoor fear, avoid it because you quickly feel trapped, especially if there are people!
If you resist this ordeal, you will see many mummies and saints, embalmed and fully dressed, from their guess, here and there, toe or toe. Nothing scary, except for these narrow underground tunnels and ultimately a wonderful spiritual experience.
4. Because Kyiv is full of riches
It is impossible to list them all, especially since my article really promises to be very long. I have just put out some pictures of the sites to visit, based on the time you spend there … the memorial of the city’s founders, the monastery of Saint Michel, the statue of the motherland (height 102 meters!) With a museum in its foot, and the Museum of World War II Museum with its Stalinist statues Terrible, its markets, St. André Street, the small local Montmartre and the paradise of discoverers … everyone will choose according to his temperament and his positions’ benefit …
5.Because Kyiv keeps a little “in its juice” from the Soviet era
Ukraine may claim its independence loud and clear (and we understand it!) And fight militarily against the former big brother in Donbas, and Kyiv, in some respects, still has a small, former site of the Soviet Union. Don’t bother him … I thought about one evening when I saw old tram cars (but I think there are newer cars than them …).
6.Because Kyiv is a great book for contemporary history
I don’t know if you remember, but the Orange Revolution, a large popular movement that allowed the Ukrainian opposition to take power in 2004, will remain one of the events of the beginning of the 21st century.
A decade or so later, from November 2013 to February 2014, it was the Oromedan Movement that led to the overthrow of President Yanukovych. The same man who refused to sign a partnership agreement with the European Union.
Both led to mass rallies at the Nizalnosti Square or Independence Square.
As a result, this square, the beating heart of the city, has become a place of memorialization. Today there are a series of signs that commemorate these events, which left many dead. Like an open-air museum dedicated to the contemporary history of Ukraine … a museum reminiscent of the past struggles, the collective strength and the spirit of brotherhood that exploded on the scene. Galina was still shivering voice, years later.
7.Because Kyiv has great places to eat and go out
If Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe, the standard of living is higher in Kyiv than anywhere else in the country. The capital tries to live as much western fashion as possible, as restaurants, bars, and modern places thrive and welcome young people who crave pleasure.
The craziest place we saw during our stay was OB, a restaurant located under Independence Square.
In fact, its name, OB like Obarykada, means the last barricade. In fact, it is located directly above the restaurant and you can see it through the glass roof. The place is also a really small museum, various souvenirs decorating the walls.
Saad Mushtaq was born and raised in the busy city of Abbottabad. As a journalist, Saad Mushtaq has contributed to many online publications including the PAK Today and the Huffing Post. In regards to academics, Saad Mushtaq earned a degree in business from the Abbottabad UST, Havelian. Saad Mushtaq follows the money and covers all aspects of emerging tech here at The Hear Up.Thanks
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Umar Nisar was born and raised in the busy city of Abbottabad. As a journalist, Umar Nisar has contributed to many online publications including PAK Today and the Huffing Post. In regards to academics, Umar Nisar earned a degree in business from the Abbottabad UST, Havelian. Umar Nisar follows the money and covers all aspects of emerging tech here at The Hear Up.