This is going to be more like a travel log...you know, the kind where the boring uncle makes you sit and watch the slide show of his trip to Europe? So, feel free to tune out, but I'm doing this anyway for the benefit of certain people who will actually LIKE my boring slide show! ;)
Since we are just waiting here, I wanted to make the most of our time. It is highly likely that at least Chris, Patty and I will never have a reason to return to Ukraine, so this is our one and only chance to see some things...and our one and only day to do it.
We met up with my generous, sweet friend Zoya who offered to take us around. She told us how to use the metro to get to her and it all worked out perfectly. I must admit that I was a little nervous doing it all by myself without Marsh, but I sure learned a lot and it went just fine.
We first went to The Lavra, an ancient religious area that is enclosed by walls and encases a huge territory of Kyiv. As usual, the gate has a small church at its entrance. We women show our respect by covering our heads in the cathedrals and church squares. Patty aptly wondered by the women cover their heads here to show reverence, but won't cover the rest of their bodies...good question.
|I added another picture of the cathedral below because it is so beautiful and you can't see it in this shot. This was on our way down to the Lavra caves.|
|Kyiv from the high Lavra hill.|
|Another view...everything you can see here to the Dnipr River is in the Lavra territory.|
|I am panning to the right with these pictures...see the big mother statue on the right....|
|On the way to the caves, we found this giant ball of painted Ukrainian eggs.|
|Here is a close up...it was quite a sight to behold.|
|Inside a helicopter.|
|Getting closer to the big mother.|
|In the distance there you see the eternal flame...which Zoya says isn't eternal because it's only lit on special occasions. :) In the tunnel ahead are the statues that follow...|
|These sculptures tell the story of the invasion of the Nazis in 1941 in chronological order. Here is a representation of the people's struggle during those years and the different bands of people who tried to stop the occupation.|
|The look of horror on this old woman's face is not visible in this picture, but as you go through the museum that I will talk about in a minute, it becomes clear as to why she is so horrified.|
|Here is a representation of the farmers in Ukraine who helped supply food for the soldiers.|
|The entrance to the museum|
|The top floor of the museum is directly under the big mother. It is a memorial hall that reminded me of our Vietnam memorial. This is a shot of the ceiling in side...an incredible mosiac surrounds the circular ceiling.|