Kyiv versus Paris !?

Paris for Reading Week – That was our original plan. Hannah, Ben and I would meet up there. And it made logistical sense too, being somewhat halfway between Ottawa and Kyiv Ukraine. I had the hotel picked out on the Rive Gauche and just as I was confirming flights, Hannah asked if she could come back to Kyiv instead.

I’ve never been to Paris. And I certainly want to visit. Hannah has though and she absolutely loved it and has always wanted to return. She lived in France for a three month language exchange and our meet up in Paris included plans to visit her host family.

This summer, Hannah moved with us here to Kyiv and stayed a month before having to return to Canada for her first year of university. So arguably, she has an idea of what the trade off is in choosing Kyiv over Paris.

Hannah really missed Kyiv. I suspect there is some recency bias there. Regardless, she opted for a 15 hour three segment flight over the more direct and much shorter trip to France for her brief Reading Week break.

Kyiv Ukraine really is all that.

Well, she did want to see Crisp.

Oh, and Dad who also had to stay in Kyiv.

Ah yes! That’s right – she also came back for the food. Specifically, for the Georgian and Ukrainian restaurant fare. Oh, and the bread! Seriously good bread here in Kyiv.

Yes, there is really good bread in that paper bag.

Rob makes the best borsch. Ever! She came back for our home cooking.

Eastern Europeans have an almost overwhelming reputation for giving an unfriendly first impression. You can clearly see that Ukrainians have a soft side when you see their bits of whimsy. And it’s all over the place.

Fun art hangs from tree tops and trunks. And restaurants and parks are more often funky than not.

You can find this tree creature in Golden Gate Park.

Hannah particularly likes this piece of metal art – a girl holding wire trash baskets.

We all love things that are ‘lost in translation’. There’s lots of it here in Kyiv. Hannah took this cool picture of a glass entrance door to a business. Maybe the doorway is for stuff instead of staff. Either way pretty funny.

I can’t imagine ever getting tired of the wall murals here in Kyiv.

Hannah and I strolled all over town and we ended up in the usual places. Andriyivskyy Descent was much less crowded than in the summer.

We took the funicular down into Podil for the first time. It wasn’t this busy at the top.

There was hardly anyone else at St Sophia’s Cathedral on this gorgeous fall day. We did the full tour of the property without any crowds at all.

St Sofia’s Bell Tower doesn’t seem that imposing from the outside?

View from the lower platform.

Hannah made a great go at making it to the top of the Bell Tower. She made it up to the middle platform despite her very deep respect for heights.

Upward view from the middle platform. This was actually the less intimidating set of stairs.

Hannah loves to clown around. But this is a completely candid photo of her dilemma. My heart used to ache for her quite a bit when she was a little girl at the top of a staircase.

I thought she was over her fear of heights. Remember she jumped off the highest bungee bridge in the world.

Umm, yes. I left her and continued to the top.

Can you see Hannah down there?

So we were tourists in Kyiv again. There is still a ton we have to do. Not enough hours in the day – Or days in the trip. Though we also did a road trip this visit. And lots of lunches out. Hannah brought gorgeous weather with her. It was sunny and warm the whole week.

Hannah is back in Canada now. Despite the jet lag, she’s looking forward to returning to Kyiv again. Though I’m not sure if next time she’d choose Kyiv over Paris for just a one week break.

Thanks to everyone who invited Hannah to Thanksgiving dinner. She loved all those invites even though she had to turn them down to come visit us. Please keep them coming.

J! Thanks for having an early turkey dinner. And for meeting Hannah at the airport. You’re awesome as always.

And thanks to everyone who is watching out for her back home. It means a lot to us and you’re all simply fabulous.

Hannah! Thank you for coming all this way. I am missing you like crazy already.

Oh, I almost forgot. Crisp on Hannah’s bed. Can he look any more pathetic?!

As always, thanks for reading!

One Reply to “Kyiv versus Paris !?”

  1. Paris or Kyiv? I haven’t been in Paris in 30 years but I think Kyiv makes a really great destination (few tourists, low prices and it’s original. Who hasn’t seen Paris?).
    Wow, THAT’S a fear of heights. And you took a photo of her. Sweet 🙂

    I’m sure back across the Atlantic everyone is asking her what the heck she’s doing in a place like Kyiv and why she would ever go there…

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