|"A healthy spirit in a healthy body". The buff guy pictured is a Cossack, one of the traditional warriors of Ukraine.|
After D and Zhenia reemerged from the beautiful gold-domed church, we retraced our steps past the battle museum, across the railroad tracks, around the chickens, and back on the marshrutkas into the city. Next stop? The city center, where our friend took us through the lusciously green park surrounding the Monument of Glory.
|Green, green, green!|
|"Tasty, like in a fairy tale" reads this little hut.|
|The Poltava Museum of Local Lore|
|Little church on a side street|
Can I confess something? It's silly, but a long time ago I saw a picture of a galushki monument in Poltava (thanks for the tip, Chelsea!) and knew I was destined to go there. A giant bowl of stone dumplings and a humongous spoon?- say no more!!!
And so, that's where we went (while my camera suffered from the sun's glare, please pardon the picture quality).
|Svyato-Uspens'kiy Cathedral and Bell Tower in the background. A little mobile coffee truck near the crosswalk.|
And finally there it was- the giant bowl of galushki, like a strange dream come to life.
|My months-long goal of sitting in an oversized spoon- achieved!|
With the day drawing to a close, we still had a few more sights to see, like the Rivendell pub, a giant samovar, and a bust that was either Pushkin or Wolverine from The X-Men, depending on the angle. Dudes could have been brothers, yo.
With the clock ticking, we kept walking.
|National Law Academy of Ukraine, Yaroslav the Wise|
|Monument to the defenders of Poltava. If you look carefully, you can see what part of the lion people rub for luck :p|
|Victory Park, full of hyperactive grandchildren and grumbling grandparents|
|Onto a very squeaky Ferris wheel in Victory Park|
|More of Victory Park. I swear faeries live in here.|
As for the drive back, ugh, just please never do it after dark unless you really get a kick out of suicidal drivers who play leapfrog around curves with 5-ton hulks of metal... I guarantee at some point you're going to be reaching for that imaginary seatbelt.
For more Poltava, may I suggest-