Spring Break Part 1: Kiev, Ukraine

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery

March 29-April 2: Our Spring Break trip started in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. Avery and I left on Friday morning and we met Grandma Vicki in the Kiev airport, about 30 minutes after our arrival. All of her flights and the two of ours were on time and without a hitch. Together we took an Uber to our Airbnb apartment, but then had a difficult time finding the right building and getting into it. The host gave us instructions, but they were not accurate. There was a light slushy snow coming down and we were getting pretty frustrated. We finally figured it out and a stranger let us into the right building.

On the walking tour

We settled in and rested a little before taking a walk through the city. It was much hillier than expected and the sidewalks were possibly worse than Sofia’s. On our walk we saw two of the main Orthodox churches in the center and the main plaza, Independence Square, where we had dinner at a Crimean restaurant.

Back at the apartment, Vicki and Avery got to bed early after a long day of traveling and I waited up for Brian who arrived around 1am.

Broken stroller

The next two days were full of sightseeing in Kiev. On Saturday we did the free walking tour which hit most of the major sights and provided a good history of the city. It was a little long with Avery, but still worth it. As we crossed the street on our way to lunch, Avery’s stroller completed broke. Part of it was already broken and we had taped it, but now one of the legs completely snapped. It was garbage. We left it a dumpster and carried Avery as we talked about our options.

Family Easter photo

We decided to finish our sightseeing that we wanted to do and then in the late afternoon we took a taxi to a baby store to check out their strollers. We couldn’t go the whole vacation without a stroller.  All of the strollers seemed very expensive, so we walked to a nearby mall and eventually found an affordable one that worked well for Avery. It ended up being a birthday gift from Grandma!

Cutie

On (Easter) Sunday, Brian and I started the day with a long run since we’re both training for races in May. Then, we spent a few hours at the Lavra, a huge orthodox Christian monastery complex. We didn’t realize it until that morning that today was Palm Sunday for them. The place was very busy, but no so crowded that we couldn’t see or do anything. We walked to the top of the bell tower for a nice view, went into some of the churches, walked through the caves with mummified priests, and also visited the miniature museum. Since it was Palm Sunday we got to see some of the rituals and traditions.

In the second half of the day, we walked along the large street near Independence Square that was closed off to traffic for the holiday. We stood in line and tried the famous fried dough that only cost us about $0.60. Then we had our Easter dinner at a Ukrainian restaurant.

Lavra

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