When I was planning my trip to Ulyanovsk, a city where I’ll be working for couple of months, I’d checked different options how to get there. The easiest (as I thought that time) was for me to go by train through Kiev – thanks to this I would save time and energy dealing with visa procedures to Belarus, and then move on to Moscow and from Moscow to Ulyanovsk. And after calculating everything, I finally decided to travel this way. I didn’t predict one thing. THE TRAIN!
That’s how our compartment looked! Very tiny and uncomfortable, but well that’s our standards. Luckily, I travelled with other people so I didn’t feel so lonely as I thought. I met a really nice girl, Natalia, who told me a lot about Russians and Ukrainians, gave me loads of tips and spread positive attitude towards Russia. 🙂
When I finally arrived there, the thing that struck me most was a big chaos everywhere. People hurrying somewhere, crowded metro, everyone making their ways using elbows… That was a real shock for me. I didn’t expect that. For us, Polish people, Ukraine is a place of long green steppes and meadows, without any infrastructure… Of course, I’m exaggerating but definitely I wasn’t prepared for such big sea of people. And again, I must admit that Kiev is a quite well-developed city with several metro lines, buses, trolleybuses, and lots of cars…
And as you can see it the picture, they are not only Lada cars… 😉
Continuing my sightseeing I noticed that despite a big Soviet influence Kiev has a very beautiful architecture. However, as it is very common in post-Soviet countries (just see Warsaw), people try to hide all the symbols of communism and construct new buildings in a modern way. But sadly, it’s not always good… Just have a look at this:
Isn’t it much interesting than the new football stadium? (Personally, I was veery disappointed with the stadium, the National Stadium in Warsaw is much more impressive, at least to me 😉 ).
But all in all, that’s good, it’s just a sign of development. I must admit that I was really impressed by the building of The Music Hall, very modern and classy in style. However it was all covered with adverts, which definitely hides its aesthetics. In the picture below you can see the most representative part of it on the right 😉
Coming back to the topic of Soviet influence on Ukrainian culture, you may find a lot of examples of it just walking down the streets, using public transport or even sitting in some cafe or a restaurant. I spotted this.
That’s a building of a cinema. In the left right corner of the building there’s a typical communistic sculpture showing people in a collective. In front of the cinema, you can see an example of trolleybuses that go around the city.
This picture was taken in the underground, one of the cars came originally from 1960s and it was somehow a living memory of those times. There were many pictures and press articles concerning famous and influential people from that era.
And apart from this, Kiev has still some treasure to offer.