Tori did surprisingly well with the time change, and after sleeping a solid 10 hours her first night in Ukraine, she had no trouble adapting. We had three days to hang out in Kyiv before taking the train to Crimea, so we spent our days site-seeing and catching up. Mark has been to Kyiv several times and served as tour guide and photographer, so Tori and I could have pictures of us everywhere we went ; )
Here are a few of my favorites:
And here we have Tori and I at Mark’s favorite park in Kyiv, which reminds me of the children’s book, Where The Wild Things Are. Tori and I posed in the cat’s mouth : P
And here is Tori and I at one of Kyiv’s most famous churches… St. Michael’s.
Possibly my favorite night in Kyiv was when Tori and I had an evening to ourselves to see the Ukrainian Ballet. Tickets were the equivalent of 5 dollars (for both of us!) so we splurged on dinner… and went to Dim Sum, an incredible Chinese place near the Opera House where the ballet performs.
We saw The Marriage of Figaro, and while the dancing was incredible, I think the music was my favorite part (I’m a huge Mozart fan). Tori and I also had amazing seats, so we even managed to get some decent pictures! The next time you’re in Kyiv, I highly recommend seeing the ballet. For $5, you really can’t go wrong… plus, it’s an experience you shouldn’t miss!
The ballet was our last night in Kyiv, and the next morning Erin and Kristin arrived at the hostel. We had tickets for the overnight train to Sevastopol, Crimea, and had the whole day ahead of us in Kyiv before needing to head to the train station. But we were one person shy of having our group assembled, because Michelle, who had been in America for a friend’s wedding, was delayed coming back to Ukraine. One of her flights was canceled and she was going to be postponed for at least a day, so she was going to miss our train to Crimea. I went to the station and tried to sell her ticket back and purchase one for the next day, but alas, every train to Crimea was completely sold out. My friend Graciella came to the rescue, and agreed to help Michelle by taking her to the train station and helping her buy off a train steward on the train to Crimea (I kid you not, anything is possible in Ukraine). Graciella lived in Crimea during her Peace Corps service, and knows all the ins and outs of train-hopping, so I knew I was leaving Michelle in good hands : )
That night the five of us (Tori, me, Erin, Kristin, and Mark) went to the train station and boarded the train to Sevastopol. It was leaving Kyiv at 10pm and arriving the next day in Crimea at 4pm, so we packed plenty of food and got settled for a long train ride. This was Tori’s first train ride, so the whole thing was a novelty for her. The rest of us were old pros, but it was fun to watch her excitement.
I documented Tori’s first train ride; isn’t she cute? : )
And with that, we were on our way to CRIMEA! Read onto the next blog post to hear about our days of fun in the sun on the Black Sea : )