On friday night, I took the night train from Krakow to Kiev in the Ukraine. I had a nice 2nd class cabin with a couple of Ukrainian scientists (in Krakow for a conference on molecular spectroscopy!?!?). The ride was fairly uneventful. The Ukrainian border was a breeze. Apparently at some point they seperated each carriage, jacked them up and changed all of the wheels to match the gauge of the Ukrainian tracks. Crazy.
I got into Kiev around 2pm local time and made my way downtown. After a couple of hours of craziness (no english spoken, all signs in Cyrillic) I found an internet cafe, found the location of the hotel, figured out the closest metro and then got a metro map. I wanted to avoid cabs because I was worried about being ripped off. After a good hour of looking deperate, pointing and talking to security/military guards, making a train/station change I got to the hotel and met Jeanine.
JEANINE (IN CAPS):
I HAD A PRETTY EASY TIME GETTING FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE HOTEL. I FOUND AN ENGLISH SPEAKING CAB DRIVER WHO KNEW EXACTLY WHERE THE HOTEL WAS...I HUNG OUT IN THE INTERNET ROOM FOR A LITTLE WHILE, THEN WAITED IN THE LOBBY TILL ALISTAIR SHOWED UP.
We took a room at the Hotel tourist (note the casino, restaurants, internet cafe, strip bar and dentist). Not too bad. We got a spot on the 19th floor with a great view across the river.
SO AFTER A QUICK REST, WE HEADED DOWNTOWN FOR DINNER, WHICH INVOLVED POINTING AT VARIOUS ITEMS IN A FOODCOURT IN AN UNDERGROUND MALL. AFTER DINNER WE PRETTY MUCH CALLED IT A NIGHT AS WE HAD BOTH BEEN AWAKE FOR CLOSE TO 24HRS.
We spent today touring a wack of churches with golden domes (see the pictures) as well as a few other sites in Kiev including the WW2 memorial (the huge statue with the sword) and the main strip downtown (much like the Champs Elysees).
Anyways, that's enough for now. Tomorrow we may head to Servastopol. Home of white sandy beaches, Russian Tsars and the Black Sea Fleet.
Posted by Alistair Howard at September 12, 2004 11:01 AM
everything looks really big with jeanine standing in front of it. Missed you on messenger. Will try again tomorrow.
LISA in GREECE-A
Posted by: Lisa at September 12, 2004 12:02 PM
Jeanine's curly hair rocks!
Posted by: Anonymous at September 13, 2004 11:08 AM
Jeanine and Alistair, thank you so much for including us in your list. It brings back memories, Jeanine, of when your Mom & I were there - the huge monuments, the golden domes and the escalators!! Are they still playing classical music on them, like Strauss, etc.? Looks like you have gorgeous weather. Have a great time! Sue
Posted by: Sue Sewell at September 13, 2004 11:53 AM
Uncle Alistair! Guess what? You are going to have another niece or nephew!!!!
Posted by: Jeremy at September 14, 2004 09:49 AM
What? J actually took a picture of you, Alistair? How DID you get her to do it? I hope their was no physical force involved....
Posted by: Sandra at September 14, 2004 12:52 PM
Posted by: Shawn at September 15, 2004 01:23 AM
I received your post card from Krakow today! thanks.
Posted by: Nick at September 15, 2004 11:46 AM