Over the course of three short days I shot more than 500 snaps; fleeting, charming, beautiful scenes that are meaningless to others, but make me smile when I see them. A few moments were best experienced rather than captured on film, though. Like the Babushka who shooed Jack away when I was trying to measure table linens and proceeded to assist me, but nodded approvingly when he reached for the wrapped parcel. And the gentleman sitting at the adjacent table in the French bistro, clearly boring his escort to tears but amusing us greatly as we enjoyed our dinner.
While on our day trip to Chernobyl we detoured to the recently opened-to-the-public Radar Duga-1, a 6 billion Russian Ruble folly intended to detect ICBMs, except, well, it didn't really work. Television and radio signals were intercepted, but that was about it. The radar is massive, spanning almost a half-kilometer, and the military base associated with it employing hundreds of people at the time.
Since 2013 the entrance to the former military base is not so foreboding; the rusted "Stop, or You Will be Shot" and other signs just toothless reminders of another era.
We were in Kiev on the weekend leading up to the Ukraine Independence Day. National pride was infectious; everyone was a little bit Ukrainian...
...to the street performers wearing American flag t-shirts.
The museum itself was extremely well done, offering informative, if somewhat depressing, doses of the struggles of the Ukrainian peoples.
Upon check-in we were asked to pay the city tax, a usual and customary fee. I did note with a half-raised brow that last group of guests exempt from the tax.
To our 9th floor suite we went. No one was there to greet us when we exited the lift. In fact, the only items at the desk were guest books dating back to the early 1990's.
Our suite was like time travel to the early 1990's, brocade and brass everywhere. With a tea set in one of the cabinets, as well.
The coffee-and-morning-news scene a bust, we collected ourselves and returned for a more formal meal a little later. The breakfast was five-star (and with fresh, hot coffee)! All of my morning favorites on two plates--sausages, dumplings, salads, dark bread and salted butter, and dry cottage cheese (oh, how I abhor that gloppy, soupy American cottage cheese crap). And a fabulous Eastern European pastry table. Plus, Melted Water!
As with most holidays, all good things must come to an end. So, until we meet again, Kiev. ❤️