Chernobyl

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Haunting, fascinating, and a testament to the very worst of mankind.  Where to even begin with Chernobyl…

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“Long live Communism – savior of humankind.”

I saw Chernobyl as another iteration of a dark monomyth – as Icarus and Prometheus and Pandora’s box.  We don’t seem to learn from our mistakes.  I want to believe that we can be better, but that’s pretty difficult to do while surrounded by the wreckage of what used to be innocent lives, needlessly sacrificed for the latest political agenda.  Just read the news.  It often seems like we haven’t learned a thing.

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I hope very much that I am wrong.

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Kyiv

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Gold-domed churches, pastel colors, a thriving art scene, autumn leaves, and any kind of food you can imagine – these are only a few things to love about Kyiv.

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It has been pretty warm in Turkey, so we were ready for a little cold weather.  The pastel buildings and bright-colored leaves were a welcome sight – we even got some snow!  Fall and winter in one trip.

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To be honest, we didn’t plan much (aside from our Chernobyl trip, which I’ll save for another day).   We were content to walk around the city and play things by ear.  We are in the process of interviewing for jobs for our next big move and I am also taking Master’s courses this year, so we needed the flexibility.

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The architecture was unlike anything we had seen before – particularly the churches.  We spent a whole day walking around the cathedrals.

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1900 – great coffee!

My favorite day, however, was the day we spent doing nothing but walking around the city in search of the best food, coffee, and bars!  We started at about 9 a.m. and didn’t get back to our hotel (very full) until midnight.

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A personal fave was Nikolay’s pies!  These homemade pies were the perfect comfort food on a cold day and they had both sweet and savory pies.  A must-try if you are in the area.

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We also sampled several chocolates (and grabbed a few for the road) at Lviv’s handmade chocolates.  The coffee and sea salt dark chocolate bar is to die for.

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We also found a cool gastro pub called Dogs and Tails where they serve fancy hot dogs, fries, onion rings, and any cocktail you can imagine.  Pictured here is the Kiev with pickled cabbage, avocado, and a sweet and tangy sauce.  The homemade ketchup was bomb.

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We rounded out the night at a cool witch-themed bar which might have been the coolest bar I’ve ever seen.  The drink you get is determined by the cards you draw.  Our cards represented the element of fire, meaning big changes are ahead for us..

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As if the cool architecture and great food scene aren’t enough, quirky Kyiv is also extremely budget-friendly.  Seriously, it’s crazy cheap, yet it rivals almost any other European city I have visited.  If you haven’t been, it’s time to add it to the list.

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