Kiev Travel Blog› entry 1 of 4 › view all entries
First stop crazy Kiev!
After a very early start, we headed to Kiev, with an 8 hour stopover in Milan, where we just headed into town and just about melted in the heat, had a wander around town, ate lots of icecream and of course a beer.
We finally got our flight to Kiev, (1 hour delayed, don’t fly with Alitalia, they are rubbish!) and arrived at 2am, to a very grumpy driver, who spoke no English at all who was taking us at our apartment in Kiev. He drove like a madman, 160km/h through the centre of town, but we arrived in one piece and our apartment was very central and very good quality (especially seeing as it was £40 a night for Hamish, Katie and I).
Anyway after a slow start we headed out on the street and just about died of the heat, we walked ‘just around the corner’ to the tour agent, and then caught the super efficient and cheap metro (25p for all 3 of us) to the river so we could see the ‘monastery of the caves’, the Jerusalem of the Russian Orthodox church. The monastery first started in the 10th century with one monk who decided to live in the caves. The place was huge, a lot of it though isn’t original, because it was destroyed either by the communists, or during the 2nd world war, so its all been restored. We went into the caves, which are also used to bury the monks. They have been cut out of the clay and they are heaps of tunnels and little chapels under the ground. We had a guide tell us about what we were looking at, but it all felt a bit strange being a tourist there, as everyone else was there to pray etc. Some of the bodies that were buried in the caves didn’t perish and so there are glass coffins there which they all kiss and pray to as they walk around. All in all very good to see but it felt a bit like we shouldn’t have been there!
The rest of the time we were in Kiev we were very lazy (nothing to do with vodka – well maybe just a little bit), and just spent time walking the streets.