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Clare
Clare

Day 3: Kiev

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Another day, another breakfast! Today's was remarkably similar to yesterday's, except for the fact that my pancakes were filled with forest fruits rather than cherries.

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Our flight wasn't until 20.05 this evening, so we had another full day in Kiev. Once we'd checked out of the apartment, we set off to explore a part of the city which we had only seen from a distance yesterday; the Motherland monument. Our route took us along some of the streets we had followed yesterday, passing the war and famine memorials.

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We also passed the monastery which we had visited yesterday afternoon.

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Before long we got our first glimpse of the statue which we were walking to see.

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The statue is part of the national museum of the history of Ukraine in the Second World War, and as we walked towards the statue we passed by all sorts of guns and armoured vehicles.

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We also had views back towards the golden roofs of the monastery.

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The closer you get to the statue, the more apparent it becomes how absolutely huge it is. The scale is quite well demonstrated in comparison to this guy mowing the grass!

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We entered the museum complex and walked past a series of sculptures depicting the defence of the Soviet border from German invasion.

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Some of them were rather scary!

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Others showed the peasants assisting with the war effort.

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When we emerged at the front of the statue, we found another large monument which depicted the Battle of the Dnieper in 1943.

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From here we had the best view of the statue. The entire structure is over 100 metres tall!

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Apparently you can climb part of the way to the top, but we decided to give it a miss!

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Instead we strolled around the park, enjoying the views back towards the monastery....

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...and particularly the views of the bell tower which we had climbed yesterday :)

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Afterwards, we decided to retrace our steps from yesterday and walk back into the centre of Kiev.

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 We walked through the shady Mariyinsky Park...

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...stopping to admire the palace again.

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From there we made our way towards the main square, Maidan Nezaleznosti.

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It was so much quieter here today than it had been yesterday!

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We had an unobstructed view of this monument to the founders of Kiev.

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We didn't take any photos, but the square and the surrounding area where full of little stalls selling souvenirs and the most popular souvenir on sale appeared to be a roll of toilet paper with Vladimir Putin's face on it :o

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Once we'd finished looking around the square, it was time to find somewhere to have lunch.  This probably wasn't the cheapest part of town, but with Ukrainian prices it didn't really matter! I had a huge pizza, with a glass of Georgian wine.

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I've never tried Georgian wine before and it's main feature seemed to be that it was really, really strong! It smelled more like rakija than wine and Tim couldn't even bring himself to try it, deciding to stick with beer instead xD

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Tim had ordered his meal off the basis of a picture we'd seem outside and the menu. When it came (about 20 minutes after my pizza!), it was complete with a rather alarming piece of purple cabbage.

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Once we'd finished lunch we went back through the square.

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On the opposite side of the road there was a monument which gave the distances to different cities around the world from Kiev. London was 2 135km away!

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We walked back in the direction of St Michael's monastery to have a better look.

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We'd been rushing past here yesterday because we were late, so hadn't taken many photos.

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From here it wasn't far back to St Andrew's church, which was definitely one of my favourites yesterday.

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Today we were able to enjoy the views with far fewer people around :)

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There was just time for a final view out over Kiev before we needed to head back towards the train station to catch our bus to the airport.

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It was Kiev's rush hour by this point and the bus took twice as long to get to the airport as it had on Saturday evening. That, combined with the queue at passport control, meant that we ran out of time to finish the blog at the airport.  That slight annoyance aside, we had a really great weekend in Kiev :) It's an exciting place with lots to see and our accommodation definitely made this visit a lot more comfortable an experience than our first trip in 2011 :D 

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