A Capital Affair in Kiev, Ukraine, Part 2

Having a few days and evenings to head out and about in Kiev gave me some time to really get a feel for the place, and get to know my way around pretty well (yes, that is an enticement to all of you considering a visit!)

One of the most charming parts in all of Kiev is the little cobbled lane known as Andriyivskyy Uzviz (St. Andrew's Descent), an old, cobbled, winding lane which connects upper Kiev to the lower neighborhood of Podil. Besides being home to the beautiful baroque St. Andrew's church, it's also filled with artists' stalls and Ukrainian folk crafts, as well as old Soviet kitsch and flea-market-worthy treasures (not to mention all of the plastic verenyky and salo magnets you could ever want):

Beautifully painted pysanka, or Ukrainian easter eggs:

Unlike St. Sofia Cathedral down the road, the 1713 St. Michael's Cathedral and Monastery was completely destroyed during the reign of the U.S.S.R. It wasn't until after 1991, when Ukraine gained its independence, that its demolition was deemed a crime and a movement for it to be rebuilt was pushed forward. What stands today is a complete modern reconstruction, but quite beautiful nevertheless:

Kiev has hundreds of churches and it's completely easy to go on a church-binge (and subsequent overdose), but one of the must-sees is the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, otherwise known as Monestary of the Caves. It's here that you can wander in a system of narrow caverns and tunnels in which over 100 monks are mummified and on display for pilgrims and tourists alike:

As well as take in a large pysanka tribute:

And, at the end of the day when the rain has you soaked and your feet are screaming, "No more cobblestones!!!," there's always some relic of the "good old days" to get you back to your relaxing block hotel:

To check out more photos from my time in Kiev, head to our flickr travel photos here!