Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Ukraine Part 2

I hope you are keeping up with this! At 8am on Wednesday 19th December, I arrived back  at Kyiv Airport after a 6 hour flight from Dubai desperate for a bed. Ligena Hotel to the rescue! I had booked a room during the day because I had decided to visit Marina in Kharkiv, then return to see Marta before returning to Spain. The hotel shuttle soon arrived and after breakfast I crashed into bed and slept about 2 hours, but very deeply. So, by the time I was ready to catch my flight to Kharkiv at 3pm, I felt fine. 
The actual flight time is about 40 minutes, Marina was working so I took an airport taxi to Hotel19 which is where I always stay when in Kharkiv. Marina came to see me later and we had a meal in the restaurant. Although part of the same organisation, the restaurant operates separately. Unfortunately, Marina left a plastic bag with her school books in the restaurant (she also teaches English) and we had a very difficult time getting it back. Next morning Marina asked if they had found it. Reply: no. On the morning of my departure next day, having checked with a taxi driver that she didn't leave it in his car, she asked again whether they had found her bag. The answer again was no. She left her phone number in case they found it. In the taxi going back to the airport, she received a phone call. Someone had taken it up to the hotel reception, not telling anyone. Obviously they realised whose bag it was because I was resident in the hotel. I never though to ask reception in the hotel as they are quite separate. To add insult to injury, two chocolate bars which were in the bag were missing. Marina gave them a hard time, I think. She takes these insults personally, as would I. Their security guy thought, "Hey, what good fortune, a reward for picking up the bag". I think I will not be staying at Hotel19 again.

Marina at Karavan Shopping Mall

I got ahead of myself because I spent the whole of Thursday in Kharkiv. We visited Karavan shopping mall (haha, yet another shopping mall), had some food and Marina headed off to give a private lesson. We met up again in the evening for a really nice meal here. There was a singer on the stage with a delicate voice, at first I thought it was Karaoke.

Next morning, Friday, at 11.30, I headed back to Kyiv. Marina stayed with me at the airport until I had to go through to check-in. At 1pm, I was back in Kyiv and this time, I took the train to the city centre. I had a light meal in the Ibis but did not check in, I was heading back to Nizhyn at 5pm. 
Marta met me at the station with Toli and we went back to the apartment via a supermarket where I paid for food and drink. Marta proudly showed me her new sofa-bed. So, no sleeping on the floor this time.
There is not much to tell you about my second weekend in Nizhyn, Marta offered an excursion back to Chernohiv but I was happy doing nothing, we cleaned the windows, just ordinary weekend jobs. Before I left, we fitted a large wall clock, where the numerals are fixed separately to the wall. On Saturday night, Marta and I went to a really nice restaurant about 10 minutes walk from her apartment. We got a little bit drunk on a bottle of wine and she instigated a snowball fight on the way back. I laughed so much that it hurt. What is more, I was so much in stitches that she clearly won the fight, I was unable to return her fire.

"I won!"
(Maybe you have guessed.... these photos were taken after the real event. I would not have risked my phone!)

On Sunday, we went for a light meal in another restaurant and I took this photo which I really like, partly due to the colours. 

So, I have almost come to the end of my Ukraine and Dubai story. I took the train back to Kyiv but I have already written about my journey back to Spain in my post, "A new Adventure".

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