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Kiev

Written on: Saturday June 23rd, 2012

A journal entry from: November 2011 until...

After a bizarre 'carpooling' experience from Krakow to Kiev (which ended up being on a regular bus, where the driver pocketed my 'contribution to fuel expenses') and after many delays - including a few hours on the border, a couple of collisions that we had to wait to be cleaned up - and one that we were involved in ourselves (just a minor side-swipe of a much smaller car, so nothing to worry about), we eventually got into Kiev at 8am - only 6 hours late. 

I am couchsurfing with the very generous and understanding Alyona. Yesterday we walked around the town and went on a river cruise. This evening I will go to see England v France at the very funky looking stadium which is right in the city centre - fab! I also managed to eat my first full meal since Berlin, which was a bonus.

Post-match update:

I caught up with Philip who I had met on the arduous bus journey from Krakow. He informed me that my fame had reached new highs as he had referenced me in his blog on the guardian website (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/jun/23/euro-2012-continental-drifter-diary). 

The match itself was good fun. Instead of sitting in my el-cheapo 'restricted view' seat, I followed Philip to his spot with the English fans, where I had to keep my neutral feelings (not to mention my refusal to sing God Save the Queen) well hidden. The chants/result/general vibe reinforced my sense of gratitude at not being an English fan.

Final day in Kiev update.

I spent the day at the simply stunning First Kiev International Biennale of Contemporary Art.

Housed in the the city's enormous old arsenal, I'm battling to think of an exhibition of contemporary art that I've enjoyed more. In fact, assuming this is the best such exhibition that I've ever been to, I'm not even sure what would come in second place. It was extensive, varied, with a load of works on a massive scale and probably a dozen installations which really took my breath away. Some were even photo-friendly. Many weren't.

I won't go on about the exhibition too much as appreciating art is personal and subjective - see here http://arsenale2012.com/home/?lang=eng if you want to know more about it. And if you are in Kiev before it ends at the end of July - go! 

I was there for five hours and only left when I was escorted out at closing time.

Many thanks to my hosts Alyona and Dima for the tip!