The Colour of Kyiv

Nicholas Quirke was finding himself seduced by Kyiv. What had started as visit fraught with annoyance and anxiety had turned into a surprise treasure chest of positive feeling. In fact as the day progressed he found himself almost thankful to the taxi driver who had completely fleeced and mad a fool of him. And in every way that driver had made him a complete and utter chump. Not only had he forced £44 out of him (Nicholas might as well have stayed in luxury in a proper hotel rather than in some hovel in a ghetto) but he discovered the hostel was actually a 10 minute walk away, and the Beautiful St Sophia Cathedral, his nemesis had pointed out to him on the roundabout drive, turned out to be St Vladimir’s Cathedral. That man was laughing at Nicholas in every single way. But the angels of travel must have had an eye out for him after all, as St Sophia was on his itinerary of things to look at and he set off to the cathedral, a beautiful, bold Yellow concoction. On discovering it was actually St Vlod’s he needed to find his true destination. However, with no WiFi and refusing to pay the obscene overseas roaming charges that EE wanted he had no idea what direction, if any Sophia lay in. He decided to follow a path and see where it led and he must have possessed a sixth sense, for on reaching a junction And turning left he followed a road that led him directly to the cathedral. He could have taken any turning down any Boulevard and he would not have reached his goal. He gave thanks to whoever guided his steps that day. Nicholas found himself entranced by the captivating colours and hues of the buildings in Kiev. They were sumptuous buildings Of many different colours and every footstep revealed a new treat and led him unknowingly to his goal. The Cathedral was inspiring. Parts of it and the frescos dating from 10th century After a deep study of the church and its artefacts he then made his way to St Michael’s, another magnificent example of the baroque architecture with five gold domes. Feeling hungry, he stopped at every road side cafe and then discovered a vegan cafe in a beauty salon, Yaro. He enjoyed the delights and started to walk back to the hostel to collect his bags and go to the train station for his night train to Moscow, a few 13 hours away. He walked to the station as once again, WiFi less he could not get himself an Uber. It was a short but educational walk. Two Stroud out that he thought Kyiv needed to sort out, the first Which had its charm but appeared to be wrong was that the Ukrainians, the Kievanites, had not let go of Christmas. Decorations adorned the cafes and buildings and Christmas songs were still belting out in the streets and restaurants. And the other, a more urgent and worrying issue was, Polution! A haze sits over the city, as large industrial chimneys pump fetid smoke into the sky. It seems a great injustice to its citizens and the beauty of its architecture that the sky, the air, should be so damaged in this way. Greta needs to get here.. Nicholas collected his ticket, found his platform and waited to board the train. No solo carriage for him this time. He was sharing with a Russian couple Anatoly and Irina And they were joined for a short while by Elena but she left. They managed using translator but once the WiFi went they had to sit and show each other pictures and videos. Nicholas was a little concerned that he was on the top bunk. It was not an easy climb up. By 11 pm they were in bed and by 12 asleep and woken for the migration routine, and then an hour later for the entry regime. The guard studied Nicholas’s passport long and hard but eventually could see nothing wrong and they were left in peace.

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