Kyiv has been crazy cool!
August 24, 2019
We’ve been loving our time here in Kyiv. We’ve had the opportunity to explore some of Kyiv’s iconic gold-domed churches, including the famous St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it into the monastery this time because we missed the opening hours, but we still got to venture up the bell tower within the complex. From there we enjoyed panoramic views over the city. It’s quite impressive!
Just outside, we stumbled upon a MASSIVE honey market—reminiscent of a farmers market, but dedicated solely to honey. I knew different types of honey existed… but not like this. There were so many colors, varieties, oversized jars, fresh honeycombs, so many honey-based products, and the market was literally buzzing with bees. So. many. Bees.
Turns out, Ukraine is a huge honey producer! We had no idea. As honey lovers, we couldn’t resist purchasing a few varieties to sample (and honey here is SO affordable – like WHAT!). We also learned that their white acacia honey is supposedly the best in the world. It was clear – looked more like a sugar syrup. Of course we picked up some of that too! We did eventually try them all, and they were just so fresh & delicious – you could tell it was made by some happy honey bees! (And no, the acacia honey did not end up being our favorite!)
Something a bit unexpected about the city—there’s like an entire underground layer of the city. There are shops, walkways, and entire multi-story malls all just below where you’re walking… pretty much everywhere you go! I had no idea!
We’ve tried quite a bit of the local cuisine, at restaurants and markets. We have found that we are quite fond of their varenyky (cherry is their specialty!!!) and Georgian food! We especially love khinkali – lamb soup dumplings and chakapuli – a stew made of lamb and sour plums.
We have never had a cuisine that has been so new to us… I don’t even think they sell sour plums where we are from.
Our museum visits we had mixed fillings about. The natural history museum is totally dated and left me dying of laughter with their *very accurate* depiction of a dinosaur that had 3 eyes. It was an experience! That’s for sure!
Our visit to the WW2 museum was actually really cool though; it offered a unique perspective on the historical events from Ukraine’s viewpoint. I snuck a few pictures even though you weren’t supposed to take them… Because I had to.
Ukraine has a strong sense of national pride (totally understandable given the ongoing situation with Russia.) They drive like maniacs (seriously… they park all over the sidewalks and just drive in walkways… don’t get me started on the roads lol)… The women are as beautiful as they are reputed to be (You’d think this was a nation of super models!!!). It’s not quite as cheap as everyone says it is. And despite the many warnings we’ve received, I feel perfectly safe here. Overall… it has been a cool experience.
We’re considering doing an underground urbex tour to a Soviet-era nuclear bunker instead of Chernobyl… something about going to a still contaminated nuclear disaster freaks me out…
A shot in the dark, but has anyone been to either?
Anyways, we have a bit longer in Ukraine, so I’m sure my next update will be smaller.