Sunday, October 7, 2012

Poltava!

Saturday morning Vera and I were up bright and early with a day of adventure in front of us.  We both spent the early hours of the morning working on odds and ends before heading out of the apartment around 10 AM.  From the metro stop by the stadium we rode one stop to the Prospekt Haharina stop and then found the Avtovokzal (Central Bus Station) after a little bit of confused wondering.  We were able to get tickets on an 11:05 bus out of Kharkov and were on that little marshrutka and off on our adventure in no time! The trip went by quickly enough, but I was definitely ready for some fresh air and stretching my legs by the time we arrived in Poltava shortly after two.  The Poltava central bus station is about 10 minutes from the city center,so we hopped on a bus headed to the center and were taken straight to where we wanted to go - the central city park! It was absolutely gorgeous in the park! After the park we walked around a bit more until we found a cafe where we had an afternoon meal.  We shared a salad,Vera had bliny with chicken and mushrooms, and I had delicious pelmeni - some of the best I've even had! While sitting on a bench in the park for a few minutes after our round about walk from the cafe we were approached by some young boys doing a project for school.  They were asking people's opinions on different social issues. Not really wanting to be recorded on their video I told them that we were foreigners, but that didn't deter them.  So it looks like two Americans are going to show up in some classroom in Poltava.  I bet their teacher won't have seen that one coming! After the park we started out walking again and found ourselves in the most beautiful part of Poltava.  We started out on a pedestrian street full of life and the energy of a town out on a Saturday evening.  The street dead ends at Assumption Cathedral, a beautiful church and monastery.  Near the church is another big park, a monument to dumplings, the white friendship rotunda, and beautiful views of the city.  The sun was starting to set at this time, making our views even more beautiful! We headed back to the bus station a little after seven and ended up taking a surprise double-long marshrutka ride because of confusing signs.  Oh well, at least we got there eventually! There were still tickets on the 20:35 bus back to Kharkiv thankfully, so we bought those and started waiting.  We had quite the odd run-in while waiting for our bus.  A man, probably about 50 or 60 years old approached us and asked us to read his ticket for him - tell him what time it was for and to where.  We found this a bit odd, but though maybe he was a bit odd and agreed. Well, "please read my ticket" quickly turned into "what are your names" and "how about you come get some tea with me". Completely out of nowhere! Of course we didn't agree to go off with some strange man and it was getting close to our departure time anyhow.  He didn't want to take no for an answer, but eventually gave up and left.  Had he persisted much longer we probably would have started to make a scene.  Our bus was a few minutes late, so while waiting we experienced that same man getting onto his bus and shouting random nonsense which resulted in the driver calling the police.  The police showed up and made him get off the bus, at which point he started shouting in different languages and causing an even bigger scene.  Our bus showed up, so I'm not sure what became of him, but definitely never a dull moment at the bus station!
Later in the evening the "regular" buses don't run, so we found ourselves on a "luxury" bus back to Kharkov complete with comfortable seats, a movie playing, and free tea and coffee. Not bad for about $9!  This bus was also a lot quicker than the other and we were back in Kharkov in a little over 2 hours instead of the 3 hours it took us to get there.  By the time we got back to our apartment I went directly to bed and slept like a rock until morning!
Goodbye Kharkov!

Hello Poltava!

The central park in Poltava - beautiful!

Monument to the Battle of Poltava of 1709

With Vera in the park

Another view of the park

A random building during our walk

Again, the park :)

The streets of Poltava

More random streets in Poltava

I love fall!

Vera in the leaves

Our salad at lunch

We got a tiny bit lost and ended up on this random street


Walking along the main street of Poltava


Large government building

Walking on the pedestrian street



Tourist!



Assumption Cathedral and Monastery 

Assumption Cathedral and Monastery




So beautiful!

Being silly!

Vera with the colorful leaves


Beautiful view of the city!


Dumplings monument!

The next bite is me!



Friendship Rotunda

Vera with the dumplings

more beautiful views!


Self-timer photo



In the leaves near the cathedral

Near the rotunda



1 comment:

  1. This is such a cool entry! I've always wanted to go to Poltava. Never heard of the dumpling monument but that is now DEFINITELY on the list!

    ReplyDelete

Blog Archive