After publishing photos from the eastern Ukraine I got to thinking about my one-year stay in Kiev. Today I went through my photos from the Ukrainian capital, taken between 2005 and 2006, and here are some of the best shots of the famous golden cupolas that dominate the street view.
Kiev, the birthplace of Russia, is full of old Orthodox churches. Many of them are as old as Kievan Rus’, making them more than 1000 years old.
…usually when visiting an Orthodox (or any!) church you should cover your knees and shoulders…
Wherever you look, Orthodox churches dominate the street view in Kiev.
Golden cupolas against blue skies.
More golden cupolas against the otherwise grey city of Kiev.
They do love blue color! One would almost think it has some symbolic value for the Orthodox church!
When life gets too hectic outside, there is always a place for a candle inside.
Some previous photos from Ukraine:
Photos of eastern Ukraine: part 1
Photos of eastern Ukraine: part 2
The Privoz market in Odessa
and more to come! Meanwhile, come and say hello on Twitter (@Miia_Niskanen), Instagram (Pearlspotting) or Facebook (Pearlspotting).
The introduction to this post can be found in the previous post, Photos of eastern Ukraine: part 1, where I explained that I used to work in Ukraine from 2005 to 2006 and that I visited the eastern part of Ukraine many times for work.
Eastern Ukraine is a region of incredible mineral resources and it is no wonder that it was once the heart of the Soviet Union’s industrial production. I could visit factories that employ more than 10,000 people, meaning an entire town. The physical scales were huge, but so were some personal egos, too. I got a feeling that the region was home to some extremely powerful men, who made or broke the lives of the rest. In describing the region’s relation to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, unity and co-operation were not the words I would choose.
This is the very same region that has been making headlines for too long now, the very same region that has been transformed into the latest battlefield of Europe.
Join me again to discover this region by photos I took during my visits:
Orthodox church in Donetsk.
“Metallurgical cinema”: Soviet-time movie theater in Donetsk.
Donetsk, the city of metallurgical companies and mines. Now a self-claimed People’s Republic…
I wonder what these women think of today’s situation?
Lenin, standing on the main square of Donetsk just a few steps away from my hotel, became my object of observation.
Every other night I would go for a walk from my hotel and see political demonstrations. Always supported by Lenin.
When this young man wore a shirt saying “For Ukraine without Yushchenko”, little did he know that things would get much more serious than just getting rid of the President….
Any thoughts these photos brought to you?
One morning in Hora Sfakion: one of a kind, a few drops of rain fell. We decided to postpone the day trip to Loutro by one day, and reached to our map to see what we could visit by car. Since we had arrived from Chania (in the north), and since we were planning to head toward Frangokastello (in the east) after Hora Sfakion, there was only one choice left: go west! The curvy, steep road from Hora Sfakion to the west takes the curious traveller to the heart of the Sfakia region, home to three villages: Anapoli, Aradena and Agios Ioannis. Very few people still reside in this region, and there are definitely more sheep than human inhabitants. The first stop 12km away from Hora Sfakion is Anapoli, a former capital of the Sfakia region, and an important resistance center. There is a restaurant and a bakery, but nothing much else. After Anapoli, there is another 3km to reach Aradena. This is where the famous Vardinogiannis Bridge, used also for bungee jumping, is located. The gorge is 138 meters deep at this point. Most people make a u-turn at this point, but we wanted to see what is in the end of the road. After all, we were only 5km away from the last stop, Agios Ioannis. This is where they road gets very interesting. It almost seemed that we entered a micro-climate zone and a different world. The trees looked different, the clouds were all over us, and the weather suddenly got very cool (bring a sweater!). At several points we thought of turning back, because the clouds were so thick and we would have not seen a sheep should it have stood in front of our car! But we did reach Agios Ionnis in the end. According to the map there are four orthodox churches but we could only find one. We stopped to take some photos but did not stay long: I was convinced that if there are ghost in this world, they would appear to me here. That is how spooky the place is (at least under the weather conditions we had).On our way back, we decided to turn right toward Livaniana. We did a good twenty minutes by car toward this seaside village, but the road suddenly turned really bad and we did not want to risk getting a flat tire, so we turned around. Before returning to Hora Sfakion, there was one more place for us to visit: Sweetwater Beach. It is located a few kilometers before Hora Sfakion, and as you are approaching Hora Sfakion by car, you will see a small sign to it. We did like the others and parked the car by the roadside. After a medium-difficult (bring your running shoes and water!) walk of 25 minutes, we reached this secluded beach, which can only be visited by foot or boat. We arrived toward the end of the afternoon, and saw some nudists and some other people putting together a tent. We swam for a while, before climbing back to our car by the same path. I would not recommend the path to you if you are traveling with children or elderly people. Althought I like exercising and think it is important always “to walk instead take a lift”, I do think the path can be quite dangerous. If you hesitate, visit Sweetwater by one of the taxi boats! This last photo gives you an idea of the path…