A Land of Golden Wheat

Kyiv Travel Blog

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Sophia Square, Kyiv

The name Ukraine appeared first in the chronicles of 1187. The name itself means settled virgin land and Ukrainians were the people who "ukrayaly", that is, took plots of virgin land and settled them.
Ukraine is known for its hospitable people, its magnificent architectural and cultural heritage and kilometers of gently rolling steppe.
The Ukrainian capital, the regional centers and other big cities have a lot to offer a foreign tourist:  a stay at good hotels, visits to wonderful museums, theaters and other places of interest. Outside the cities, there are many villages surrounded by beautiful landscapes consisting mainly of plains.
Only 5% of the territory of the republic is mountainous. The highest elevation in Ukraine occurs in the Carpathian Mountain range in the southwest of the country.

A view of Lower Kyiv from Bald Mountain
Greatly beloved by the Ukrainian people, the Carpathians are extremely picturesque. The highest peak in the Ukrainian Carpathians is Mount Hoverla that reaches the elevation of 2,061 meters (6,762 feet). Another region where the elevations rise over 600 m (1,900 ft) is the Crimean Mountains in the south of the Crimean peninsula.
There are thousands of big and small rivers and streams (they say there are 22,400 overall), hundreds of lakes and ponds. The biggest of the Ukrainian rivers is the Dnipro, the third largest river in Europe that runs almost through the middle of Ukraine and divides the country into two parts: Left-bank and Right-bank territories. Most of the streams, tributaries and rivers empty into the few main rivers and flow southward into the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
The territory of Ukraine stretches for 900 km (560 miles) from the north to the south and for 1,316 km (818 miles) from the west to the east.
The city of Drohobych, Lviv region, Ukraine
Ukraine is famous for its mild climate with summer temperature of more than 30 degrees centigrade and winter temperature seldom falling below 20 degrees frost. The climate is alpine in the Carpathians, whereas it is similar to that of the Mediterranean along the coast of Crimea.
One of the well-known aspects of the Ukrainian art is that of church architecture. Some of the churches erected in the 17th and 18th centuries represent the unique style known as Cossack Baroque which shows how Ukrainian artists asserted their originality and dedication to their native traditions. Many Ukrainian churches and cathedrals are adorned with splendid murals and mosaics, which are especially admired today.  Since the introduction of Byzantine Christianity in 988 most Ukrainians have belonged to the Orthodox Church.
Odessa railway station
In 1596 the Ukrainian Catholic Church was formed. A number of Ukrainian bishops faithfully joined in a union with Rome while retaining their traditional Eastern rituals. Like the Orthodox clergy, the Ukrainian Catholic clergymen were allowed to marry. Lots of old churches and cathedrals have been restored or replicas constructed and dozens of new churches have been built all over Ukraine. More and more people come to churches, especially on Christian holidays.

Ukraine possesses the world's most fertile soil known as black earth. The country has often been called "A Land of Golden Wheat” and “A Land of White Gold” (that is, sugar).  Ukraine has rich flora and fauna. Different kinds of trees are represented in the forests and steppe regions of the country: oak, birch, pine-tree, ash-tree, linden, poplar, maple, willow-tree and many others.

Sviatogorsk Monastery, Donetsk region, Ukraine
 Snowball tree is considered to be an ancient symbol of Ukraine. Mallow is another old symbol of the Ukrainian countryside.   Did you know that the sunflower was one of the symbols of Ukraine? The country has always been famous for its huge sunflower oil production. The Ukrainian fauna includes foxes, hares, elks, roe deer and other wild animals. Plenty of birds can be seen and heard in Ukraine: swans, seagulls, pheasants, larks and, of course, nightingales that brought fame to Ukraine.

Representatives of about 120 nationalities live in Ukraine. The pride of Ukraine is its people: hard working and full of courage, persistence and keenness. The Ukrainian people have inherited a legacy of folk customs, rituals and rites for every occasion and time of the year. These customs and rites have traces of medieval and pre-Christian influences, which make them especially attractive and memorable.
Sophia Square, Kyiv


Ukraine has five cities with the population over a million inhabitants: Kiev, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Odessa. The Ukrainian capital and the regional centers are cities of museums and theaters having a lot of other attractions, among them centuries-old cathedrals adorned with exquisite mosaics, murals and ancient icons. There is an interesting "classification" of Ukraine's areas:
Lviv is the Soul of Ukraine,
Uzhhorod is the Passion of Ukraine,
Lutsk is the Fortress of Ukraine,
Vynnytsia is the Nature of Ukraine,
Ternopil is the Traditions of Ukraine,

Khmelnitsky is the Valor of Ukraine,
Zhytomyr is the Memory of Ukraine,
Chernihiv is the History of Ukraine,
Dnipropetrovsk is the Power of Ukraine,
Poltava is the Glory of Ukraine,
Kiev is the Capital of Ukraine,
Luhansk is the Labor of Ukraine,
Kirovohrad is the Art of Ukraine,
Crimea is the Pleasure of Ukraine,
Mykolayiv is the Mystery of Ukraine,
Zaporizhia is the Cossacks of Ukraine,
Donetsk is the Sport of Ukraine,
Cherkassy is the Center of Ukraine,
Rivne is the Treasure of Ukraine,
Odessa is the Humor of Ukraine,
Ivano-Frankivsk is the Beauty of Ukraine,
Chernuvtsi is the Melody of Ukraine,
Kherson is the Sun of Ukraine,
Kharkiv is the Mind of Ukraine,
Sumy is the Spirituality of Ukraine.

Friendship Arch, Kyiv

The historic struggle of the Ukrainian Cossacks is known all over the world. The word "Cossack" means "a free warrior". Cossacks were adventurous freedom-loving serfs who had fled their masters and banded together in Southern Ukrainian steppes and on the islands of the Dnipro and undertook the defense of the Ukrainian people. They lived in strict military brotherhood in their permanent fortress called Zaporizhya Sich, which was described by scientists as the first Christian republic.  The Ukrainian language is an independent Slavic language. Although all Slavic languages have much in common, they are just as distinct from each other as, say, German is from Swedish or Dutch. They say the Ukrainian language is the world's second melodic language after Italian. Ukraine is also famous for its unique songs and melodies.

The famous Potiomkin Staircase, Odessa, Ukraine
Music has always been an essential part of the Ukrainian folk culture. Ukrainians have songs for every occasion and will break into song at the slightest opportunity. Today numerous professional and amateur folk dance groups and choirs popularize Ukrainian folk dancing and singing.

Folk handicraft arts in Ukraine are especially well developed, varied and colorful. Visitors of Ukraine usually take home lots of souvenirs: the famous Ukrainian decorated Easter eggs, ceramics, embroidery and weaving, wood carvings, inlays and other specimens of decorative arts. Ukrainians especially love to embroider and use embroidery not only in the native dress, but also in adorning other clothing, pillowcases, tablecloths, curtains and altar cloths. The designs are done in bright-colored thread, often with colors of red and black predominating.
Visiting Kyiv


Kiev, the capital of Ukraine situated on the banks of the Dnipro, has a spacious open-air museum of folk architecture located on its outskirts, a cave monastery called "Laura" and other religious shrines. He who visited Kiev once will never forget its picturesque hills, splendid architectural monuments, shadowy streets and hospitable people. You have to be a poet to be able to describe everything you have seen in Kiev.

Each city has a growing number of cafes and restaurants where you can order different exquisite dishes to your taste. You can find Greek, Chinese, Mexican, Italian and other restaurants and cafes. You can also listen to unique folk instruments and modern pop-groups. Therefore, the visit to this country can offer you a lot and I do hope the things you will find here will all be attractive, relaxing and inspiring.
Sophia Cathedral, Kyiv


Attending the meetings of the East-Ukrainian English Club at Shevchenko National University in Luhansk I met some Americans who lived and worked in Luhansk either as Peace Corps volunteers or as businesspersons. This is what they told us about their impressions:

"Ukrainians are the most hospitable and unselfish people..."

"I belong here in Ukraine."

"To be honest with you, Ukraine has taught me to have patience. Life will go on after a cold shower..."

"I do love Ukraine because of the nice friends I've met here"...

"I'll remember the good hearts of the people"...

"I believe in the future of Ukraine"...

During my internship in the United States, I browsed the stores in the main street of Madison, WI, and came across a travel book “Let’s Go Europe -1999” in a bookstore.

Sviatogorsk Monastery, Donetsk region, Ukraine
I read the  "1999 Thoughts about Ukraine" in that book and couldn’t help laughing, although the things I read about Ukraine were all negative. They were all in the cold war spirit of alienation, which was not fair any more. I gather the author had a bad experience here, hence such a ruthless travel article. Here is a quote from that book, “There is nothing quaint or pretty about a nation in as deep as crisis as Ukraine’s... There are treasures here, but you’ll have to find them yourself because Ukraine, with enough troubles of its own, isn’t inclined to play host.” (“Let’s go Europe-1999”, 976 pages, Publisher: Let's Go Publications; 1st edition, December 1, 1998; ISBN-10: 0312194811; ISBN-13: 978-0312194819). I do hope the 2016 edition of that travel book radiates a more positive and unbiased attitude.
Uman National Park
Thank goodness now we have such a powerful travel information resource as the Internet!

Please take a look at: the incredible photographs: https://www.buzzfeed.com/kurbique/25-reasons-not-to-investegate-ukraine-peai . Here is a great Vimeo video about Ukraine:  https://vimeo.com/136663259

Have a pleasant stay in Ukraine, fellow travelers!

Paulovic says:
Congrats on your featured blog!
Posted on: Sep 26, 2017
HORSCHECK says:
Victor congrats on your featured blog. Well done.
Posted on: Sep 26, 2017
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Sophia Square, Kyiv
Sophia Square, Kyiv
A view of Lower Kyiv from Bald Mou…
A view of Lower Kyiv from Bald Mo…
The city of Drohobych, Lviv region…
The city of Drohobych, Lviv regio…
Odessa railway station
Odessa railway station
Sviatogorsk Monastery, Donetsk reg…
Sviatogorsk Monastery, Donetsk re…
Sophia Square, Kyiv
Sophia Square, Kyiv
Friendship Arch, Kyiv
Friendship Arch, Kyiv
The famous Potiomkin Staircase, Od…
The famous Potiomkin Staircase, O…
Visiting Kyiv
Visiting Kyiv
Sophia Cathedral, Kyiv
Sophia Cathedral, Kyiv
Sviatogorsk Monastery, Donetsk reg…
Sviatogorsk Monastery, Donetsk re…
Uman National Park
Uman National Park
Sviatogorsk Monastery, Donetsk reg…
Sviatogorsk Monastery, Donetsk re…
Sviatogorsk Monastery, Donetsk reg…
Sviatogorsk Monastery, Donetsk re…
Artiom monument, Holy Mountains, S…
Artiom monument, Holy Mountains, …
Uman National Park
Uman National Park
Some humor, irony and sarcasm - a …
Some humor, irony and sarcasm - a…
Holocaust Memorial, Kharkiv, Ukrai…
Holocaust Memorial, Kharkiv, Ukra…
Churches along the motorway in Kha…
Churches along the motorway in Kh…
Chalk cliffs in Izuim, along the m…
Chalk cliffs in Izuim, along the …
Chalk cliffs in Izuim, along the m…
Chalk cliffs in Izuim, along the …
Chalk cliffs in Izuim, along the m…
Chalk cliffs in Izuim, along the …
Churches along the motorway in Don…
Churches along the motorway in Do…
Churches along the motorway in Don…
Churches along the motorway in Do…
Churches along the motorway in Don…
Churches along the motorway in Do…
Churches along the motorway in Don…
Churches along the motorway in Do…
Churches along the motorway in Don…
Churches along the motorway in Do…
Churches along the motorway in Don…
Churches along the motorway in Do…
Visiting a Ukrainian village
Visiting a Ukrainian village
Visiting a Ukrainian village: insi…
Visiting a Ukrainian village: ins…
Visiting a Ukrainian village: insi…
Visiting a Ukrainian village: ins…
Visiting a Ukrainian village: insi…
Visiting a Ukrainian village: ins…
Visiting a Ukrainian village: insi…
Visiting a Ukrainian village: ins…
Visiting a Ukrainian village
Visiting a Ukrainian village
Visiting a Ukrainian village
Visiting a Ukrainian village
Visiting a Ukrainian village
Visiting a Ukrainian village
Visiting a Ukrainian village
Visiting a Ukrainian village
Visiting a Ukrainian village: a tu…
Visiting a Ukrainian village: a t…
Visiting a Ukrainian village
Visiting a Ukrainian village
Visiting a Ukrainian village: the …
Visiting a Ukrainian village: the…
Visiting a Ukrainian village: mosa…
Visiting a Ukrainian village: mos…
Kyiv
photo by: delsol67