It was weird to be in Kiev for two reasons.
- It’s a big city and it feels like it. Tbilisi and Yerevan, the cities I’d most recently been in, are good-sized cities that each have more than a million inhabitants, but Kiev is on another level. It’s a metropolis. There are a lot of people, a lot of buildings, and a lot of traffic. It was slightly disarming.
- I’d lived in Kiev for two or three months as a missionary back in the summer of 2006. The city itself hasn’t changed much in the intervening 7 years, but my situation sure has. It was great (though also very strange) to just walk down the streets alone and do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
Overall, I like Kiev. Though a bit too big and bustling to be a charming city, it is definitely a fascinating one. I think it’s one of the world’s great cities. I spent about a day and a half doing hardcore, morning-till-night sightseeing and there is still so much I didn’t see. I spent most of that time eating (I love Ukrainian food and made sure I had all my favorites: borscht, syrniki, varenyky, chicken Kiev, etc.) and visiting a bunch of the city’s different churches. If you haven’t been able to tell by now from these blog posts, I love religious architecture, and Kiev has more beautiful churches than anywhere else I’ve been. It was also a bit of a shock going from the rather subdued religious architecture of the Caucasus to the colorful and ornate churches of Ukrainian orthodoxy.
Below are 27 photos from the couple days that I spent in Kiev last week.