Early one Friday morning I took the first tube to Heathrow, hopped on a plane and arrived at Kyiv’s Boryspil airport just after midday.

I said ‘good day’, ‘hello’, ‘yes’ and ‘thank you’ in Ukrainian to the woman at passport control, she seemed pleased, it was a good start.

I took the ‘Skybus‘ to Kyiv’s main train station.  It was a lovely summer-like day so I decided to walk the 3km from the station to my AirBnB.

Along the way a woman with a young child stopped and asked me a question. I’m pretty sure she wanted directions to somewhere but all I could say in return was ‘Не знаю’ (I don’t know), a handy term that I was to use on many occasions over the next nine days. Despite my inability to help I was rather pleased she mistook me for a local.

I also saw a poster for an upcoming Slade (without Noddy) gig which amused me.


After an hour or so of trudging through the Kyiv heat, I found my AirBnB in the Shevchenkivsky neighbourhood at 27 Velyka Zhytomyrska, an attractive old Kyiv street1 not far from the gorgeous St. Sophia’s cathedral.

I settled in, took a shower and lay down for a restorative nap.

(Note: the above photos, other than those I took of no. 27, are public domain via the Velyka Zhytomyrska street page on Wikipedia).

Refreshed, I left the flat and and went to meet my friend Serhiy at the Pilsner Bar, we ate and drank.  I enjoyed a Ukrainian version of Goulash from the Carpathian region called Bograch 2.

We then went to a bar called Duma (Пивна Дума) at the ЦУМ department store and drank an indeterminate number of beers.

On the way home I sat for a while at Golden Gate, one of my favourite places in Kyiv, drank a coffee and watched the world go by.


Bonus picture

I found this ‘scheme of accommodation of residential areas in the city of Kyiv’ map on a Ukrainian architecture website.

map of kyiv

Footnotes and further reading

Footnotes and further reading
1 One of the oldest streets in Kyiv dating back to the 11th century.
2 See recipe for ‘Bograch soup with paprika – The king of Hutsul cuisine

One thought on “Ukraine 2018
I arrive in Kyiv

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