Saturday, May 19, 2007


As I wrote earlier today, I just came back from Kiev. Parallel to the works of the General Assembly of the European Alliance of YMCA, I spent some time with the people from the Ukrainian Youth Forum and could therefore do some sightseeing. I must say that I was positively impressed both with the town and the warmth of people. Kiev is a very green city and it is said that one can walk from one end of it to the other without leaving the shade of its many trees. This was very useful yesterday, as the daytime temperature reached 32°C and therefore the shade provided by the horse-chestnut trees was very appreciated, as the beauty of the blossoming lilacs was. The centre of Kiev, around the Independence Square and the Khreschatyk Street, has been cleaned up and buildings have been restored and redecorated, and now boasts a busy modern life during the day and becomes a large outdoor party place at night. Close-by, the most historic areas of Kiev, such as Andriyivskyy descent and the area between the St Sophia and St Michael’s cathedrals, have become popular among an increasing number of international travellers, and I can understand why. But the charm of Kiev is very closely related to the Dnieper River, which flows south through the city towards the Black Sea. The river forms a branching system of tributaries, isles and harbours within the city limits, and both the Dnieper and the Desna (which mouth adjoins the city) are navigable at Kiev. After a nice cruise in the river and a nice walk in the centre, nothing better than a wonderful meal with a great view over the Dnieper! Vodka leaves some traces, but it definitely helps to forge friendships!


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