A quick look at Kyiv
Ukraine Day 1. A short side trip begins for what may well be the highlight of my five weeks away.
It was going to be a big day of heading into an even more foreign environment. I didn’t have all the answers at the outset but, using the elephant-eating technique, I just needed to take it gradually in bite size chunks.
After a few morsels of cold breakfast offerings I checked out. It wasn’t by any means a thorough stay in Warsaw and I may not have time to get out and about on my third visit, but I’ve had a wee taste of the place at least. I don’t love it but I certainly don’t mind it.
I sorted the bus to Chopin Airport in busy morning traffic, then checked in with the bright blue and yellow Ukraine International Airlines. It was a clear sunny day so a no brainer to go window seat for the 75 minute flight. I didn’t know whether to be amused or alarmed that people clapped the landing.
I’d organised a pick-up with the company I booked an apartment from. If my Polish is minimal, my Russian is considerably less and my Ukrainian is non-existent so this was one situation I felt inclined to take the easy option!
It was about a 40 minute drive into the city. Traffic was fast and at times lanes seemed to serve as a guideline only. At least my driver used indicators – which is to say, turned them on as he was already in the manoeuvre.
We got to my street, somewhere downtown and not far from sightseeing stuff. I opted for an apartment because of a discount via the Chernobyl tour booking and it was a great choice – big, bright, breezy and with a sauna. It wasn’t exactly sauna weather but I was determined to use it.
By the time I headed back out it was almost 3pm. First priority was finding a SIM card which took a while but got sorted thanks only to the nice English-speaking guy in the shop. Then I set off properly, without having any real agenda but feeling that I wanted to head for the river first. That then became a big loop walk.
There’s not too much you can get round in three hours and perhaps I would’ve been better served doing the hop on hop off bus thing – but I still have the must-walk mindset going on. For dinner I took the relatively easy option of TGI Fridays and returned to my pad for a sauna and to wage war with wifi signals.
Distance walked: 12.77km