Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Playing tourist

A second visitor has dared to fly out to Kharkov to see us! Odin and I studied together both in Alaska and in Siberia and recently he dropped into town for several days. Here's a sampling of what we've been up to...and proof that August is a great time to visit Ukraine:
countryside swimming
chicken shashlik!
Odin is to thank for many of the fantastic photos in this post!
one afternoon we stumbled upon artists creating this impressive mural on Sumskaya street
a very friendly kitten we met at lunch (and I'm sad to report that the Jazzoff Jazz Cafe is no more; it's now a cheap pizza and beer joint)

the moon rising over the Capitalist Business Center near the Botanical Garden metro

Freedom Square
Odin at the gradusnik, a popular meeting spot
As you can see above, he's 6'5"... and every night he scrunched up to sleep on our couch! :p
taking non-stop pictures for the blog, as usual
Odin trying to grow a Taras Shevchenko moustache... has he succeeded?
delicious pears
a beer-fueled Friday night at Шато
A local monument to bicyclists?
We rode the cable cars... three times in 3 days!
visiting one of Kharkov's WWII memorials

And as our grand finale, last night we went to a Russian banya-
From 11 PM to midnight, we beat each other with veniki (oak branches) in the sauna and alternated dumping buckets of cold water on our heads and sitting in a gigantic barrel of cool water. There's really nothing to compare this experience to, it makes you feel completely purified by the end.

Although we've had a great run, all good things must come to an end and soon Odin will head west again, back to the dwindling remains of an Alaskan summer. But he'll be back on this blog again soon with some stories of the 3 months he just spent reindeer herding in Siberia!!
this isn't Ukraine but I couldn't resist including it: a pic Odin took as he travelled toward Moscow on the Transiberian


  1. Reindeer herding! I hope we do read about that soon. Glad that August is treating you well in Kharkov!

  2. I recently tried my first Russian banya in the summer. I think I much prefer it in the winter when you can jump in the snow.

    Reindeer herding?! Looking forward to that post.

    1. I would like to try the snow experience too- it sounds like the real deal! Do you go to banyas out of town then? The only banyas I know here are in the city and the surrounding snow...is not so nice to jump in, it's more like a place for drunk men to pee :p

  3. It's was a good time.