West of Rivne – Kiev Ukraine
After the abuse I subjected the Guzzi to the previous day I stuck to the highway the rest of the way to Kiev and arrived sometime after 4pm. This is a major 4 lane road in excellent condition and it was a beautiful day so the ride was pretty uneventful. The only thing worth mentioning is the wildly disparate speed of some of the vehicles. You’ll have truck and old Ladas barely doing 60 KPH and other vehicles doing well in excess of 160 KPH so it pays to check and double check before passing the slower vehicles.
I had booked a room in advance and what a room it was. From the outside my hotel seemed pretty awful but the room was actually an apartment with tile floors, fancy furniture, kitchen, jacuzzi, and holy of holies a washing machine. The Ukraine is dirt cheap too and this Hotel apartment cost just over $30 a night.
After getting myself situated I made my down to the Maidan Square. I had watched the protests earlier this year and to say I was impressed by the bad assedness of the protestors would be an understatement. The are around the square is still closed off to traffic though most of the approaches have been cleared. The square and some of the adjoining buildings are still being occupied by protestors and the barricades are still up on one of the roads as a testament to what happened there. The streets and sidewalks all around the square still show lots of burn marks and there are shrines located in numerous locations to protestors who lost their lives there overthrowing Putin’s puppet. From my counting the barricades on the one street where at least 6 levels deep. When the Ukrainian’s decide to occupy a square the occupy the living shit out of it! Unfortunately everything was written in Cyrillic so all of the signs and memorials were lost on me but it was still a very impressive and moving place to be.
vini, vidi, vicErunt .
I meant to buy a souvenir while I was there but I got distracted (squirrel!) by the sounds of a trumpet playing some Miles Davis so I headed in that direction and hung out listening to a street musician before making my way back to my hotel for some food and much needed rest.
Oh and speaking of the Ukrainian ladies (where we just speaking about that or am I obsessing?). They’ll make you sing and shout they said. Well in my opinion Meh. As far as I’m concerned the Scandinavian girls have em beat hands down. Not that the eastern European ladies aren’t hot and they certainly dress well going clickity-ckickity in their high heels but the Scandinavian girls are much more smiley while the eastern European ladies seem to wear a perpetual scowl. I’m pretty sure if you’re typical Kiev girl had to sing out “hi-hi” every time a stranger approached the counter that her head would explode. That’s my opinion anyway. YMMV.