Category: travel

Experience Kyiv, Ukraine

Long before Russia and Ukraine existed, there was Kyiv. The inhabitants of the city were already pacing up and down the hills, promenading along Khreshchatyk and idling on the Dnipro River. The city is embodied by 24-hour parties, vintage cafes and urban art. Friends of mine who run an Edmonton physiotherapy clinic had an absolutely amazing time during their trip to Kyiv! Thanks to them and some of my own research, here are the top experiences in Kyiv, Ukraine.

St. Sophia’s Cathedral

The most astounding aspect of the oldest standing church in Kyiv is the interior. Many of the frescoes and mosaics are original, dating to as far back as 1017 to 1031 when it was built. Equally attractive are the cathedral’s 76m bell tower and gold domes. It is worth climbing the bell tower for a spectacular view of the cathedral as well as 360° panoramas of Kyiv. Named after Hagia Sofia, the Byzantine architecture of St. Sophia announced the political and religious authority of Kyiv. It was a center of culture and learning, housing the first library and school in Kyivan Rus.

Maidan Nezalezhnosti

Be it revolution or celebration, whenever the locals want to get together, the meeting point of the nation is the Maidan. The square saw protests for independence in the 1990s and in 2004 the Orange Revolution. But all these protests were eclipsed in 2013 to 2014 by the Euromaidan Revolution, when it was converted into a guerilla camp beleaguered by government forces. The square is more about festiveness in peaceful time with a nightly show and weekend concerts. All streets in the center seemingly spill into this square, and with them is a cross-section of Kyiv life: lovers and bums; snake charmers and skate rats; as well as vendors selling souvenirs and food.


PinchukArtCentre is a world-class gallery with rotating exhibits featuring elite names in the world of contemporary design and art, all financed by Viktor Pinchuk, a billionaire mogul. Works by art giants like Ai Weiwei, Damian Hirst and Antony Gormley have all exhibited here. Make sure you visit the coffee shop at the top floor for a view of Kyiv’s roof. The oligarch-style security personnel inside the gallery and at the door can put you off, but you can regard them as modern-day art objects.


The newest tourist attraction in Kyiv is Mezhyhirya, the estate used to belong to Viktor Yanukovych, the wannabe Ukrainian dictator and ex-president. Wandering through the opulent grounds will give you an idea how corrupt his regime was. The estate is now a national park and is centered on the personal country house of Yanukovych, a 620 square meter pinewood behemoth. Other highlights include a museum of exotic cars, a rare-breed dog kennel, a golf course, tennis court, horse stables and zoo.

Huntsville, Alabama Travel Guide

Huntsville is a northern Alabama city that initially grew due to its railroad and cotton industries. Today, it’s best known for its aerospace industries and military technology. The Saturn V rocket that sent men to the moon for the first time was designed and tested by scientists here. Huntsville is today is filled with rocket scientists and the Marshall Space Flight Center of NASA continues to be at the forefront of America’s rocketry construction and research. This has earned the city its nickname “Rocket City”.


The top visitor attraction in Huntsville is definitely the amazing United States Space and Rocket Center and it’s also popular as being the Space Camp home. However, there are enough attractions here besides the space-related activities. Huntsville offers a wide range of culinary, historical, and cultural attractions, which include lush botanical gardens, an excellent art museum, as well as several quirky entertainment and dining venues. There are lots of things to do here and it’s easy to spend some days in Huntsville. Here are some sites you shouldn’t miss when in Huntsville, Alabama.

Big Spring Park

Located in the city center, the park is where John Hunt’s cabin was built. Today, there is a beautiful green space featuring a lake brimming with flocks of geese, ducks, and koi. You can have a picnic here, stroll around the park or simply sit and relax. The gifts that have been received from other countries have made this park international. Here you will find a red Japanese bridge and cherry trees donated by the Japanese. Other gifts include a sundial from Germany, a bench donated by the U.K., as well as a fog bell and lighthouse donated by Norway.

Huntsville Depot & Museum

The depot is Alabama’s oldest and one of the oldest in the country. It was once served as a prison for Confederate soldiers during the civil war. The graffiti of the prisoners are still visible on the walls. Until 1968, this depot was used as a passenger station but it is now on the register of national historic places. Catch a glimpse of the past at Huntsville Depot & Museum with its historic buildings and trains or just a picnic and relax in the pavilion.

Alabama Constitution Village

This open-air museum features 19th-century life building replicas, including the cabinet shop where delegates gathered for statehood arguments. This history museum has 8 buildings from the time period, such as John Boardman’s print shop, Sheriff Stephen Neal’s residence, and Clement Comer Clay law office.