Golden Gate and other sites

Posted by Amanda on February 18th, 2008

After our wonderful dinner (see post below), we walked around a little bit.  I wanted to see the Golden Gate, but we saw a few things on our way.  First was a church (I think St. Andrews, because it is at the top of Andrivskiy Sputsk). 

After a few more minutes I realized where we were – very near where we had lived in our temporary apartments, our first three weeks here.  We think this building – the Minstry of Foreign Affairs – is beautiful.  I’m doing the sign for “cold”, because I was so cold.  Next to that building is another church, St. Michael’s.

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Then we got to the Golden Gate, near the metro stop zoloti vorota, which apparently means “Golden Gate”.  It used to be the gate to enter the city, hundreds of years ago.  It is always interesting to me to see something that has been around for so long.  It looks just like a gate you would imagine that opens to a city surrounded by a wall.  Or the gate on  “ThePrincessBride” – “Fezzik, the portcullis!”

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There happened to be a gelato place right there, so we had some extremely tasty ice cream.  Gelato can definitely fill the Cold Stone Creamery void while we’re here.

Valentine Celebration

Posted by Amanda on February 18th, 2008

Darryl got home from work about 8pm on Valentine’s Day.  He called to see if Kathryn was still up (which she was).  He walked in with a red heart balloon for her.  From the way she squealed and ran around with the balloon, he concluded it had been a good idea!  Darryl and I had already planned to go out to dinner Saturday night (but he also brought tulips and a chocolate candy bar for me.)  Later that evening Amelia took her first steps!  She took 2 and 3 steps, and has done so a few times each day since.  She was 2 days shy of being 9 months old. 

Saturday we had a couple of the ILP teachers come over to babysit.  Darryl had made a reservation at a restaurant recommended by one of the partners at KPMG.  He ended up eating there twice during the week for work things, before we went there!  So by then he could recommend it himself.

It is a French restaurant, very small (about the size of our living room), and is on Andrievskiy Sputsk, a very old street lined with souvenir vendors.  That street alone is on my list of places to go to in Kyiv.  I’m always glad Darryl speaks Russian, but the woman offered us English menus which was nice.  The partner that recommended the place mentioned that one reason it is so nice is there are no TVs in the restaurant.  Even Mcdonalds has 3 or 4 big TVs.  The only thing I would change is the smoking.  By the time we left it was getting to me, and when we got home my sweater was extremely smokey. 

While we were still discussing the menu, I saw the server bring out someone else’s food.  To me it looked like raw meat shaped into a hamburger (without bun), but with a raw egg on top.  I thought surely this was on its way to some oven at the other side of the restaurant.  Not so. 

We shared a salad – pretty much a novelty because lettuce is very expensive and bag salads are non-existent.  It was delicious and included duck meat.  I have to say I really like duck – I had it a few times in China.  I got a steak shashlik (shish-kabob) which was very tasty, and homemade puree (which is mashed potatoes).  We also had carpaccio as an appetizer.  It was quite tasty – especially when we sprinkled it with lemon juice.  The whole meal was very delicious, and just as nice was not having to feed Amelia, jump up for something for Kathryn, wipe up the spills, and especially do the dishes (by hand).

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