Saturday, January 23, 2016

7 highlights of Ukrainian winters

I love, love, love a snowy day and Ukraine was full of them. There was nothing better than waking up to a window obscured by white, even if that day was a long one of trekking around town to get from one student to the next.

Here are 7 things that I looked forward to every winter...

1. The quiet

Can't you just hear it in this picture- the sound of absolute silence? This was downtown, only a few blocks off Pushkinska street, and yet we had the whole place to ourselves.

2. The icicles

Of all the dangerous things you've heard about Ukraine, here's what you should really be watching out for during the winter: killer icicles.

At the same time, they were pretty cool to admire from a distance. A very safe distance.

3. The clothes

Cute boots! Shopping for gloves and scarfs! Fake fur jackets (this was soooo warm)! It was much easier to stay warm in winter than cool in summer.

4. Kharkiv's landmarks in the snow

Against a white landscape, even things you've seen a hundred times before will take on a new element.

Synagogue in the distance.
Clockwise: Poetry Plaza, Victory Park, Assumption Cathedral, Gorky Park.
Jan 19th Epiphany celebrations @ Sarzhine Ravine (more pics here).

5. Burning extra calories

There's a market trip, and there's a hauling-potatoes-in-a-parka market trip.
Yes, you deserve that hot chocolate ;)

6. December skies and sunsets

Enough said.

7. Wintery charm

Maybe you look at this and it seems uber-depressing, but old buildings in the snow captured my heart. They had a certain charm during this season that they didn't have the rest of the year.

Of course, there were points when winter seemed too long. Like when you leave your apartment 83 days in a row and see this:

And you remember how much brighter everything was last summer:

... but now Portland's one snow day has me wishing for more. Maybe not a solid four months, but just a little taste of Ukrainian winter.
What kind of winter do you prefer?


  1. I prefer winter to be wintery. I am on my 5th snow day, and 7th day of wintery views overall, and it was 60 degrees yesterday and half of our 15inches of snow was melted. Based on the upcoming predicted temps, I am kind of bummed it seems like there might be no more winter here in Virginia. A blizzard is nice, but I love seeing it snow. Once just doesn't feel like enough. I firmly believe it is not possible to fully appreciate spring and fall without summer and winter extremes.

    1. Hi Leah! Wow, 15 inches is a lot of snow to lose in one day. Are you still teaching? If you are, you've probably had a lot of free time this week :) I totally agree that the extremes help make the transitions more enjoyable.

      By the way, the next post will be a tea post! How is your tea organizing project coming along?