Kiev or Kyiv (Ukrainian: Київ [ˈkɪjiw]; Russian: Киев) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiev
1. Springtime. Ukrainian winters are long and cold but damn the Springtime makes up for it! Blink and you’ll miss the transition from snow to sun, however if you’re lucky enough to be in Kiev in May/June – the burst of green shoots, blossoming trees and smiling people will warm your soul.( Read more... )
14. Train picnics. Your fellow train passengers will feed you, talk to you and look after you.( Read more... )
27. Flowers. Ukrainians are flower crazy. They’re obsessed. Not only are there flower shops all over the city, but many of them are 24-hour flower shops!! If you ask a Ukrainian if it is necessary to have flowers available at 4am on a Wednesday morning, they will simply tell you: “Yes, of course!”
28. Metros. The metro in Kiev opened in 1960 and very little has changed since, however – its still brilliant. It is incredibly noisy but it’s fast, extremely clean and safe and for just 20p you can cross the whole city! The little blue Metro tokens are also very cheap souvenirs.( Read more... )
30. Museum of Miniature. This is possibly my favourite museum in the world because every single exhibit makes you say ‘wow’. You can also read the world’s smallest book!
31. The Pecherska Lavra. Here there are caves with mummified saints, healing fountains, golden-domed churches and a lot of Monks.
32. Rodina Mat. The mother of all Ukrainian mothers. If there was a fight between Rodina Mat and the statue of Liberty, Rod M would kick Liberties arse!( Read more... )
39. Free Street Concerts. I don’t think a week goes by in Kiev without a free stage show and pop-concert.
40. Kreshatik Street. It’s the main street in Kiev and Kievians and visitors alike love to stroll here. Its also closed at the weekend so you can stroll even more and enjoy the many (sometimes bizarre) street performers.
41. Break-Dancers. They’ve been break-dancing on Kreshatik since I first came in 2005 and they’re still going. They’re a part of the city.
42. Ukrainians will tell you what they think and they will ask you direct questions. Its both awkward and refreshing.( Read more... )
50. Kiev Trams. They were made in the Neolithic period and upgraded a little during the Iron Age. Since then, they have been moving people around Kiev without modification. Tram drivers are normally serious looking women.
51. Superstitions. Ukrainians take many superstitions to be indisputable facts. A cold draft, for example, can lead to kidney failure or infertility. Fact. Also, don’t put your hat, money, and especially your keys on the kitchen table – that’s just wrong.( Read more... )
68. (almost) everything is in Cyrillic, including the tourist attractions and metro maps. At first its daunting, but as you get better at reading, its extremely rewarding – you feel like a code breaker every time you identify the correct Metro stop.
69. Flowerbeds, flower tyres and other city gardens. While Soviet apartment blocks lack any notable character, the abundance of flowerbeds and makeshift gardens do a great job at compensating. Old tyres, concrete tubs and a wide selection of other ‘containers’ are often painted and planted with great effect.
70. Turquoise. It seems that turquoise, green and blue were the only colour available in Ukraine in the past 300 years. As a result almost all stairwells, fences and all official buildings are painted in a shade of turquoise or bluey-green.
71. People will speak English with you even if they only know a few words.
72. The USSR lives-on in the details, on the buildings, in the street-names and even on the butter. Communist icons and insignia are hiding everywhere like forgotten Easter eggs.
73. You can spend days exploring deserted factories and spooky buildings.
74. You can get a good (and big) coffee from the back of a car, thanks to Kiev’s ingenious Coffee Cars
75. Semki (Sunflower Seeds) and Salo (fat on bread)
76. Holiday photos and birthdays are a big deal and you will be expected to join in with both.
77. People peel and eat bananas the wrong way!! (this has to be seen to be believed, but its true)
78. Feminists in Ukraine (Femen) campaign about negative attitudes towards women by exposing their breasts and performing half-naked publicity stunts. This confuses the hell out of everyone.( Read more... )http://bluetoyellow.com/2011/11/01/101-reasons-to-love-kiev/