It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Monday, June 29, 2015

1st of 3 trips...part 2

You can read about part one HERE.

I have to be honest with you, it feels like I am just looking at these pictures and wondering why they are on my phone!  At this point in the trip we had only been there for a few hours, so still adjusting to two solid days of traveling and the time difference.

Not to mention...NERVES.

We had survived our SDA appointment but had to wait for the paperwork so we could travel to see the girls. This would either involve a bus trip (the public transportation we had seen thus far was not something we wanted to spend several hours riding) or an overnight train ride.

The traveler in me was like "Don't sleep! Do something! When will you ever be back here???" So we got out and saw some things but didn't go too far because we were "on call".

We wandered around the city a little but not with much purpose....we just wanted to have the papers in our hands and see our girls!

Remember we had just got there around 4am? We got picked up for our appointment around 9am and then dropped back off at our apartment. We were picked up for another appointment around 4pm. The next day, we left on a bus around 6am to travel to our girls' region.

Our time in the capitol city was very limited...but don't worry, we will spend at least a week and half here with our girls on the third trip!

Our apartment is the one at the top with the balcony. We barely were there! 
The view from the balcony to the left...if you look close above the tree line you can see a tip of gold wing. 

This is the whole gold wing...This is Maiden or Independence Square. 

The view from the balcony to the right...this is Saint Sophia Cathedral. 

 According to Trip Advisor, the cathedral was built over nine centuries and is a great example of Byzantine and Ukr*ini*n Baroque architecture. The interior contains mosaics and frescoes dating back to the 11th century.
We were warned that there would be a lot of walking....and even if there were elevators, not to trust them. Our apartment was up on the top floor. 

There are so many statues and monuments. 

And people trying to get your money like any other tourist attraction. This is a very famous set of apartments. Rumor is that the top floor is now empty since the war started and there is now a new president, the wealthy owner had to flee the country. There is talk like this often. At times it was easy to forget this was a country at war. 

The Golden Gates of Ki*v is a major landmark of the Ancient Ki*v and historic gateway in the ancient city fortress. It is named after the Golden Gate of Constantinople.
After Two Hares Character Monument. Is in front of St. Andrews/our SDA appointment. Only later did I learn that it is based off a popular movie in which a famous scene takes place at St. Andrews. Supposedly it is good luck to rub her ring. 

The other side of Independence Square (Maiden) 

A Memorial visually recognizing each soldier who has died in the war. In addition to this, there are several make-shift ones around the city. People are constantly fundraising too. 
If you scroll back to the picture of the wings, you will see a big window dome behind it. This is what is below it: a major shopping mall. 

To cross streets or just to shop, you go underground. I know we are "from Chicago" (people are aware of Chicago but not you just say "Chicago") so we are familiar with a city that has more than one level. Still it took some getting used to to go underground like that! 

Time to leave the city. We are taking a bus to our next stop....our next stop is literally the middle of no where at a crossroads. Our facilitator told us not to worry, the bus driver would know where to drop us off to meet our regional facilitator....we did worry. 

Because our tickets were last minute (we didn't buy them until we had the documents in our hands...and we had them in our hands almost 24 hours early!) Michael and I did not get to sit beside each other on the bus.  It didn't was way better than we had expected. 

The bus was clean and had a stewardess who picked up trash, answered questions, and sold snacks. (That is her standing the front) There were two video screens which played movies that were the first one was about two old ladies in a XXX shop. Again, we had been warned that what they view as normal would be edgy or inappropriate to us. 

So we traveled for about 6 hours looking at views like this....

I know that some of you are like, "Ummm, how is she posting these pictures of the capitol and talking about it but it is supposed to be some sort of secret." 

Good point and you are correct, we are still being careful. We just need to be sure that we can't be found in a quick google search. 

1 comment:

  1. As hard as it is to do all this traveling and not bring your girls home, I think it will still be a treasure to have these memories and pictures to share with them later.