Kiev, Ukraine: Europe’s Greatest City
Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, has seen more hardship over the past 100 years than any other city in Europe. Yet the city still stands proud on both sides of the banks of the river Dnipro.
For the past 45 days I’ve been studying Russian here. This film shows are some of the amazing people I’ve met and things I’ve seen over that period.
From hardworking normal citizens to great tourist attractions. From the sublime beaches along the river Dnipro to fantastic church art. These clips hopefully serves to give people and impression of what Kiev is truly like.
Kiev is paradise on earth during both summer and winter in terms of the open green spaces scattered all over the city. Towards the end of this film I go through some of the tragic history Kiev have suffered through and explain why this place deserves the title as Europe’s greatest city.
As I did in my last movie I encourage people to visit Kiev or Ukraine for a holiday and spend money in the economy. Since then I’ve had my parents visit and they absolutely loved the city. They thought it was safe, beautiful and an extremely interesting part of Europe to wander around and explore in.
For first time visitors I recommend the Hotel Ukraina on Kreschatyk street. It’s an old classic Soviet style hotel and used to be the most expensive hotel in Kiev during the days of the Soviet Union. The rooms are relatively modern and offer great value for money. The location of the hotel is also sublime.
As for time of year to visit Kiev, personally I love the winters when the city is covered in a thick layer of snow. If you can’t handle minus 20 Celsius though, Ukraine’s warmest months are June and July.
Ukrainian Winter -20 °C
01:00 Елизавета Ярославна
03:22 1000 year old frescos!
06:21 Ice swim
07:20 Viking Route to Constantinople
09:01 Frozen Laundry
09:18 Exploring Around Town
10:18 Forgotten Soldier’s Flame
10:56 World War II Tank Museum
13:19 World War II Museum
14:50 Communist Art
15:35 LIT UP STATUE IN BLIZZARD
16:08 View From Church Tower
18:19 Bus ride
19:38 TANK GRAVEYARD GYM
20:24 -18 C
22:00 Buying socks
22:58 Christmas Around Town
The Viking age lasted roughly 300 years. From the first recorded raid on an English monastery on Lindisfarne in 793 A.D. to 1066, when Norway’s greatest King Harald III (aged 50!) died in berzerkergang (fighting bare-chested without armor and shield with an axe in each hand) from an arrow to his skull in an attempt to conquer England. A few months later another Viking, today known as William the Conquerer (actually related to Harald III) succeeded in taking England.
The Vikings raided and fought all over Europe. Often in the service of Norwegian Kings or as mercenaries for other European rulers. The Roman Emperor had his own Viking army known as the Varangian guard in Constantinople.
It was whilst being the leader of the Varangian guard that Harald Hardråde (later called Harald III of Norway and founder of Oslo) eventually amassed such wealth that he was able to successfully court the 2nd oldest daughter of one of contemporary Europe’s most powerful rulers: Yaroslav The Wise. They married and returned to Norway where they founded what is today the capital of Norway, Oslo.
So who was this last Viking Queen of Norway? That’s the story I investigate whilst exploring Kiev, the city she grew up in, before ascending to the Norwegian throne.
Odessa – Minsk : Railway Journey
After missing my first class express train journey from Odessa to Kiev due to alcohol related causes I was left with no other option but to board the Odessa – Minsk day time train the following day.
In the sweltering heat this was a wild experience. In between clips I show footage from around Odessa city, a classic Soviet car exhibition, Arcadia beach and the swimming pool at Ibiza club.
Odessa is a beautiful city with many historic sites to see and a great cafe downtown area to walk around during the day.