Field Trip to Kyiv

Every cluster takes a trip to Kyiv during Pre-Service Training. This past Saturday was our chance, as we just finished the travel and transportation unit in language lessons. The day started with a 1.75-hour bus ride and short Metro ride into the city. First stop was the train station, where we practiced asking how much trains cost and when they leave. From Kyiv, many trains go all over eastern and central Europe.
 
Next stop: Peace Corps Ukraine headquarters! Nice offices where we got to pick up mail and see the Volunteer lounge. Then our walking tour of the city began. First we ran into the Kyiv International University named after Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine’s most famous writer. The main building of the university is bright red:
 
Kyiv International University named after Taras Shevchenko. Love the red!
 
Next, we made our way to Вул Хрещатик (Khreshchatik St.), the main street of Kyiv with lots of expensive stores. As we wandered along, we came across what turned out to be a reenactment of the 7 November 1943 liberation of Kyiv from the Germans. Pretty interesting. Our LCF was excited, so we took lots of pictures.
 
 
Happy b/c Khreshchatik St. is closed to cars this day!
 
Khreshchatik St. runs into Майдан Незалежності (Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or “freedom square”), in which stands a tall monument to Archangel Michael, the guardian/patron of Kyiv.
 
Freedom Square, w/ statue of Archangel Michael.
 
Some of you classical music lovers may be just slightly familiar with Pictures at an Exhibition, one section of which is titled “the great gate of Kyiv.” Well, we saw that great gate, also called the golden gate, or золоті ворота (“zoloti vorota”). It used to be the main entrance to the city during Cossack times.
 
The great golden gate of Kyiv
 
A short walk from the golden gate we found three cathedrals and a wonderful, old-Europe-like cobblestone street (Вул Андрівска, or Andreevska St., I believe). The St. Sophia’s, St. Michael’s, and St. Andrew’s cathedrals – and their golden domes – are images you may be familiar with if you’ve ever seen pictures of Kyiv. A city with a long and rich history, easily explored on foot or by metro, and easily navigable if you know enough Ukrainian or Russian to ask directions!
 
St. Sophia’s Cathedral
St. Michael’s Cathedral, and statue of Khmelnetsky, famous Cossack ruler.
St. Andrew’s Cathedral.
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