Kiev – the place, not the chicken.

It took me 4 years to get here but I made it.

For an Australian, getting to Ukraine requires one of those pain-in-the-ass-kinda-expensive-visa’s.
Depending on which consulate you deal with, depends on which authorized travel operator they deal with, decides on how much your ‘official’ invitation will be, after communicating in anything but English.

Last time I was in the Balkans, the closest Ukraine Embassy was Budapest and I just couldn’t swing it, this time coming from Moscow I was more organized and the procedure was a bit less painful.
Though a friend still had to translate every part of the process.

But an overnight train, a double take on the passport, and here I am.

A small gallery of whats up so far..

Independence Square

Camera: Lomo LCA
Film: Agfa Vista 400 (Expired 2006)
Location: Kiev – Ukraine.
Photoshop: Minor density corrections

Tourist Shit


There is so much ice and sludge here, England cripples at the first sign of snow fall, Ukrainians just mash through it like a summers day drifting around every corner.

As jovial as it gets.

Picked up some sweet etchings from the local artist market.

Melbourne, we’ve got it good.

Like the rest of the Soviet empire, Kiev thought instead of setting up pedestrian lights to cross roads, they’ll just build these massive monolithic underpasses for the people and cars to travel freely.
They’re really just a pain in the ass, and a warm place for bums to hang out.

I was told to get to the industrial island to take photos, the bridge seemed permanently out of commission though and this was as close as I got.

Happy people do exist here somewhere.

Ditch summer and come here.

And for the record, there is actually alot of chicken Kiev’s getting about here, but Russia claims they masterminded it.

41 Responses to “Kiev – the place, not the chicken.”

  1. 1 mat February 27, 2010 at 2:45 am

    WOW! Great photos mate. ALthough, it’s definitley still got that grey ‘communist’ look about it hasn’t it. Looks bloddy cold as well. Did you experience any good bars or nightlife while you were there? and how were the hotels? customer service?

  2. 2 Laughing Hard Crying Harder February 27, 2010 at 3:01 am

    “comment now and you’ll get a huge volume of click-throughs” haha. You look cold. That subway looks like the kind of place you’d get your kidneys stolen.

  3. 3 Jim February 27, 2010 at 4:23 am

    Hey! Great post. I had a similar pain in the ass experience entering Istanbul via Greece with a Canadian passport. Those experiences add to the adventure…doesn’t feel like it at the time but…
    I noticed that Canada is not on your list of places visited. You plan on coming here soon?
    We share some Lonely Planet work relation my friend. Get back in touch when you can. Ciao.

  4. 4 Gloris February 27, 2010 at 6:04 am

    All looks cold and depressing, save the snowman. Do they have any coffee shops? What are the people like?

    • 5 itsmywar February 28, 2010 at 7:48 am

      You are right – too much depression all around. heh coffee shops? Do you know what is real coffee – I mean not americano but real coffee? They know it. Mae be I will discover a great secret – but you will find here most brands you used to see or get. People like? Like humans – head, 2 hands and legs…. but how you think they could be while living in deppressed cities?

  5. 6 Kerri February 27, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Randomly found this site… your descriptions of things are just as crass as how I would have done it. Love it!

  6. 7 Tri February 27, 2010 at 8:09 am

    too cold for me. and, does any smile there? I guess I can understand why…too cold, harsh.

    cool photos

  7. 8 Lori Schmidt Lutze February 27, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I feel like I’ve been on a bit of a trip. Those icicles scared me….xo

  8. 9 fred February 27, 2010 at 10:58 am

    this emphasis just keeps getting stronger and stronger

  9. 10 fred February 27, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I am happy to eat chicken in Kiev

  10. 11 dykapede February 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Berrrrrrrrrrrrrrr….cool cool cool…:-D

  11. 12 manila_love February 27, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    LOMO love your shots! Though must agree the place looks dreary… sure hope you found a mug of hot chocolate somewhere πŸ™‚

  12. 13 Spirited Dona February 27, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Kiev fascinates me! not as dark as edinburgh! looks like many dreams were dreamt and lost!

  13. 15 Denis February 27, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Kiev great city. You priezayte summer.

  14. 16 routinebitinghard February 27, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    fuck desktop vacationers complaining about the cold.
    place looks amazing.

  15. 17 Veronika February 27, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    I live in Kyiv! In general it is nothing like that!!!
    Any town can have good and bad sides. Why shoot the dirtiest and assert that it’s all what we have???
    And stop calling us “rest of the Soviet empire”!
    And ΠšΠΈΡ—Π² in english written Kyiv!!!

    • 18 leavemehere February 27, 2010 at 11:48 pm

      Hey, I like it here, and I’m not asserting anything, but I am choosing to show that side at the moment.
      Most people follow my blog as a journey, they understand that the complete picture unfolds over time.
      It IS a cold grim place for a tourist right now, so if I feel like conveying it that way, I will.
      Hopefully before I leave, I’ll get to show how great the cafe’s and bars are, how kool the galleries are, and how convenient Puzata Khata is!
      Kiev / Kyiv – fight with wikipedia about it.

      • 19 itsmywar February 28, 2010 at 7:56 am

        heh – puzata hata πŸ™‚ did you really like it and ukrainian food in general?
        One I want to specify – it wasnt cold winter this year – last years here we havent cold winters – it just 10 C below zero in average. You are welcome in Lviv in summer – I promise it will impress you!!!

      • 20 leavemehere March 1, 2010 at 8:25 pm

        I’m in Lviv right now, 2 days and I love it already!

      • 21 itsmywar March 1, 2010 at 9:05 pm

        πŸ™‚ center of Lviv is total tourist route. Just walk around, look, communicate and make photos. Its really European city. I would like to advise you to visit 3 cafes – Kryjivka, Synya plashka (Blue bottle) and Dukat. It will impress you. Especially Blue bottle – there time is really absent – just you and your thoughts. Bee cool.
        Waiting for photos

  16. 22 routinebitinghard February 27, 2010 at 11:05 pm


  17. 23 curator by day February 28, 2010 at 7:19 am

    You really get a flavour of the post-Orange Revolution blues of contemporary Kyiv. Nice shots, and how fitting that these are taken with expired film….

  18. 24 Lunamy February 28, 2010 at 9:53 am

    thanks for sharing this. i like the pictures a lot and to me, it doesn’t look like some grim deserted place, but more like a city with many undiscovered places and mysteries to find. it’s winter and big cities everywhere seem to look grey then, not just this one. and i think your photos clearly show, that behind that ice there are looks of things to discover. i hope you’ll share some more of your experiences there soon.

  19. 25 Meredith February 28, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Are you a Melbournite too? What motivated you to go to Kiev? Thanks for the interesting photo essay

  20. 26 loisron February 28, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Thought you were chasing warmer weather. Where to next????? Email us ???

  21. 28 breadtobeeaten February 28, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    The photo of the snowman is killer. Well done.

  22. 29 Titi March 1, 2010 at 12:04 am

    When I will going to Kiev Ukraine? Really interesting and snow…snow cool..huh. I like your photo, nice and interest photo!

  23. 30 Msbluejeans March 1, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Great to read that people are interested to visit Ukraine. Was it expensive there? I just have to say that it much better ther in summer πŸ™‚

  24. 31 Lakia March 1, 2010 at 1:12 am

    These pictures are fantastic.. I also love your theme!

  25. 32 Sue Anne March 1, 2010 at 2:11 am

    I lived in Moscow for a summer and thank God I never had to survive the winter in that part of the world. A friend had a Russian language teacher from Kiev and he ended up with a different accent when speaking Russian. You did a lovely job with the photos!

  26. 33 Carpathian Peasant March 1, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Thank you so much for the “winter view.”

    I have distant reason for exploring Kiev/Kyiv and am only able to do so electronically. Tourist promotion views are not what I want.

  27. 34 Young Rune March 1, 2010 at 6:04 am

    I am a visitor from Scandinavia (pardon any poor english!). I just returned from Kiev. liked the city, and therefore was attracted to your blog. I admire your writing skills, but to me you come across as cultivating some prejudices about Eastern Europe. For instance, calling The Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev for ‘tourist shit’ may work with friendly readers, but don’t be suprised if Ukrainians (or historians!) react. As a Western European I too have been traveling the former East Bloc looking for Β«that Soviet lookΒ». But at one point I decided to grow up. Ukraine is a nation in its own right, and deserves to be treated as such.

  28. 35 Sarah Bright March 1, 2010 at 6:38 am

    I was just in Kiev not long ago. It can be a wonderful place. Your photos showcase typical Ukraine! Very cold, and dirty, and gray with lots of Communist remnants. In two weeks there, we had sunshine for about four hours one day, but that was all.

  29. 36 Phil Tyler March 1, 2010 at 7:29 am

    That old world architecture is unreal. That picture where you called it “tourist shit” two down, that blue building..look at the friggin detail on that. Nowadays everything is so bla.

  30. 37 eClair March 1, 2010 at 8:41 am

    It seems like Winter steals the world of light and happiness regardless of location. Maybe it’s a good thing. That way, people will have to look within themselves for light.

  31. 38 .nevara March 1, 2010 at 9:27 am

    This town looks so interesting!

  32. 39 itsmywar March 1, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    πŸ™‚ center of Lviv is total tourist route. Just walk around, look, communicate and make photos. Its really European city. I would like to advise you to visit 3 cafes – Kryjivka, Synya plashka (Blue bottle) and Dukat. It will impress you. Especially Blue bottle – there time is really absent – just you and your thoughts. Bee cool.
    Waiting for photos

  33. 40 Ricky March 11, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Just happened to stumble over this site but glad i did. its a cool lil blog, very interesting and great to see real tourist pics. Im going to zaporozhye at the end of this month and was just looking for some general over view of ukrainian life. your blog just gets my feet itching. i just need to get there and check it out for myself now. if anyone knows of anywhere else i can find real peoples views of ukraine, especially zaporozhye it would be much appreciated.

  34. 41 Ricky March 11, 2010 at 8:32 am

    like the pics

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