Take it or Kiev it.

Posted by jswt | Posted in General, Ukraine - Kiev | Posted on 03-12-2011


Admittedly, I’m lagging behind on this post and Kiev wasn’t terribly inspiring, so let me just briefly summarize our week there: bleak, better than Russia, great hotel.

Didn’t do much around the city, since I was in major crunch mode with a project, and we were staying in one of my favorite hotels that we’ve ever stayed in… Oldschool classic 5 star luxury.

The hotel was a couple blocks from Independance Square where the government was toppled by the Orange Revolution after election fraud. There have been some recent political shenanigans that are really interesting, and demonstrate how this part of the world deals with insurgence. Heavy.

We spent one day off going to the monastery up in the hills above Kiev, where there’s tunnels and catacombs where the’ve buried their saints and holy men. Made for some interesting Jesu-zombie wandering. Also an interesting merging of ideals to be in an active monastery where the monks are all sporting laptops and iPhones, and driving Lexus’.

There was a crew party one night as a decent club called Crystal Palace – nice room with some great sound, and pimpin vip tables. The vodka was flowing in excess – gotta love a place where beer and mixed drinks are expensive, but bottles of vodka are free. It got wonderfully saucy.

Other day off was sunny so we met up with “the Ugg Girls” (boots, not looks – heh) and wandered around town and to the huge street market that had a good blend of tacky tourist gear, hand knitted socks, and nazi antiques (see: SS rings, swastika stamps, and stacks of ‘abandoned’ passports from the era – creepy!). Highlight of the day was finding the Kiev Chocolate Co, and overdosing on chocolate in the biggest and best way: tea with melted chocolate, latte with melted chocolate, chocolates, and hot chocolate that was nothing but a cup of melted [amazing] chocolate. Fantastic little place, and well worth the diabetes later in life.

We’d booked a day trip to Chernoybl, but due to some weird government policy that no one could really explain or wanted to talk about, the tours had all been cancelled and we were only told the day before we were to go. Would have been cool, and something unchecked on life’s wishlist.

Anyways – that’s about all i have to say about Kiev. Not the friendliest place, it’s pretty Russian-y, I got a ton of work done, there was cheap sushi everywhere, and our hotel was *fantastic*.

Summary: No need to return or go out of your way to visit, but if you do, treat yourself to a stay at the Premier Palace Hotel…

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