Ukrainian experience

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Ukraine. The border was surprisingly fast and the nice border guards even warned me of a police radar trap ahead. (2004-07-12 13:52 - Bergie)

Lunch break of bortsch and shashlik in Krolevets. 260km to Kiev. Roads are quite bad but empty. The bike attracts quite an audience. (2004-07-12 15:02 - Bergie)

Ice cream break near Kozelets. Still about 80km to Kiev. Got stopped by police who were curious about where I was coming from. (2004-07-12 17:42 - Bergie)

Not fair! An Estonian biker passed me 160km/h and I got the speeding ticket. 80 local units, enough to buy both of the cops a dinner. (2004-07-12 18:08 - Bergie)

The whole day has been sunny and warm, but Kiev is covered by a thunder cloud. Stopping in Brovary to put on a scarf before the rain hits. (2004-07-12 18:24 - Bergie)

I've now seen the golden spires and the huge warrior-like "Motherland" statue of Kiev. But I've yet to find something resembling a city center, or even a hotel. (2004-07-12 18:56 - Bergie)

As soon as I had written that a local biker stopped for a chat and pointed me to the right direction. I'm now booked into Gotel Ukraina. (2004-07-12 19:30 - Bergie)

The hotel is expensive (300 gryven = 50 eur), but nice and right in the center behind the golden angel statue. And it has sauna and stoyanka. (2004-07-12 19:32 - Bergie)

Kiev (or Kyiv) is one of those great European cities that I had only vague knowledge of, except for few photos of military parades. (2004-07-12 21:26 - Bergie)

Some recon work found a much cheaper hotel for tomorrow. Sankt Petersburg on vulitsya Volodimirska is only 90 gryven per night for double room. (2004-07-12 23:24 - Bergie)

Digital Ixus 500 was about 60 eur cheaper in here than in Finland, so now I have a new camera. The old one was quite battered anyway. (2004-07-13 10:36 - Bergie)

I like the way Kiev is built on many levels to the hills. Just took a cable car ride to Dniepr shore and am thinking of taking a river cruise. (2004-07-13 12:08 - Bergie)

Cruise on Nikolaj Ostrovskij showed Dniepr, the golden spires of Kyiv and the 65m high statue of Motherland wonderfully. (2004-07-13 13:36 - Bergie)

I just visited the underground necropolis of Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra monastery where over 100 orthodox saints are preserved in glass coffins. (2004-07-13 15:22 - Bergie)

After the monastery tour it was time to take metro back to main street. Lunch outside in nice indian restaurant Himalaya. (2004-07-13 17:06 - Bergie)

The feeling of having eaten way too much chicken vindaloo is slowly melting away while sitting at beer on terrace on Andriivskyi Uzviz street. (2004-07-13 19:18 - Bergie)

Now in the post office's Internet cafe on the Independence plaza. My mailbox has over 5000 unread messages so I guess I won't even try sorting them before I'm back in Finland and can use a spam filter. If anyone wants to communicate with me SMS is much better solution.

Juha called twenty minutes ago with some reconnaisance information about the situation in Georgia. Looks like there is some big military operation going on in South Ossetia, so that area should be avoided. On the other hand, there are now some UN peacekeepers in Abkhazia, so that might be better. I will have to see what the situation looks like in Sochi. If there is regular traffic to Tbilisi from there I'll accompany some other drivers. If not, I'll just take a ship to Poti. In any case the plan is to stay out of trouble. My travel insurance won't be valid in Georgia because the insurance company considers it war zone, so I have to buy special "War insurance" for the trip.

This Internet cafe doesn't allow me to upload photos so I'll have to find another one that does. I've already taken about 200 pictures. Mostly from Saint Petersburg, but also from the road and Kyiv.

Another Internet cafe 30 meters further allowed me to upload first of the photos.

No luck with sauna today either. Reserved. Prostitutes in hotel Ukraina lobby yesterday hinted at it being used for other purposes than bathing. (2004-07-13 22:16 - Bergie)

Time for last beers in Kyiv. Have to turn in early tonight as tomorrow is the long ride to Black Sea. Bought a Finnish flag for the bike. (2004-07-13 22:26 - Bergie)

Grey morning in Kyiv and the forecast for Odessa promises rain, rain, rain. But doesn't help, must press on. (2004-07-14 11:06 - Bergie)

The rain started when riding out of Kyiv. Now it is teletubby time. My right rear indicator had gotten loose, had to fix it with duct tape. (2004-07-14 11:34 - Bergie)

Coffee and blini break. Feeling cold as my shirt and socks are all wet. 260 km left to Odessa. (2004-07-14 14:36 - Bergie)

Rainy Odessa. After five riding days I'm finally on the shore of the Black Sea. Odometer reads 58706km. Lots of beggars here. (2004-07-14 19:02 - Bergie)

Booked into hotel Passaszh for 100 gryven. I might stay here for second night to dry my gear and see more of the "Pearl of the Black Sea". (2004-07-14 20:06 - Bergie)

I found a nice restaurant, 'Steikhaus' ( Interesting fusion menu. Just enjoyed a whiskey marinated steak with tabasco ice cream (2004-07-14 22:16 - Bergie)

The hotel guard came to wake me up. Apparently a street cleaner had pushed the bike, trickering the brake disc lock alarm. I had to dismantle it (2004-07-15 07:02 - Bergie)

Breakfast of eggs and mushrooms on vulitsya Deribasivska. Finally got started on Tolstoy's Hadji Murad, the story of a Chechen warrior. Rain. (2004-07-15 11:46 - Bergie)

Visited the city archaelogical museum and walked the great stairs of Odessa to the harbour. Here would be first ferry opportunities to Georgia. (2004-07-15 15:48 - Bergie)

Odessa is a weird city - only one person in twenty knows where a post office is, and even fewer how to fing stoyanka. Hotel quit their's tonight (2004-07-15 19:40 - Bergie)

After dinner bakhlava, tea and water pipe to accompany Hadji Murad in the Uzbek restaurant Shalimar on Grepeskaya ulitsa. Very good mutton. (2004-07-15 21:06 - Bergie)

Cigar and some rum in the Fidel club, then it is time to return to the hotel. Tomorrow is the long ride to Crimea. Weather forecast looks ok. (2004-07-15 22:46 - Bergie)