Thursday, March 14, 2013


We went to Donetsk! If you read the last post, that was the tickets we went to the train station to fetch and after our late night out were dragging ourselves out of bed at the sound of the 5 AM alarm and making our way to the train station.  When I was buying the tickets, the woman asked me if I would like "the cheaper tickets".  I repeated that I wanted second class tickets, but again repeated that there was a cheaper option.  So, I told her yes, I would take the cheaper ones and we saved about 10 dollars on the trip overall.  Considering that a ticket on the fast train to Kiev will usually cost you about 200 hryvnia one way, I was surprised when each ticket was only 67 UAH! The trip to Kiev is only about 30 minutes longer, so this ticket price scheme remains a mystery to me.  We joked before leaving that for that cheap price we would have to be the train conductors or do some sort of manual labor. Well, it turns out that these tickets were slightly different seats than the more expensive ones, but they were still comfortable and I didn't consider them worse.  Mario and I dosed for the majority of the trip there.  The further we traveled the more and more snow I saw blowing around outside the train car windows.  By the time we got to Donetsk we were greeted by quite the little blizzard!

Donetsk train station!
Church by the train station

Pigeons, pigeons, everywhere!

We stepped off that train with high spirits which lasted all the day long! After the first woman at a newspaper kiosk (she was a complete and total sweetheart by the way) told me that unfortunately she didn't have any city maps and wasn't sure where I might find one, another kiosk had one! Yippeee yay!! Before starting our adventure we wanted something to eat, so we stopped into an Italian restaurant whose menu included pizzas, salads, and blini.  We ordered blini (thin pancakes/crepes) with chicken and cheese and Greek salad and coffee.  We were given free sweet blini with condensed milk with our coffee order, so we had ourselves quite the (deliciousssss) feast!
Armed with our map we found a marshrutka which seemed to be going towards the center.  There isn't a metro in Donetsk, so trolleybusses and marshrutki it was. We explored the the main parts of the city center, the stadium, and the World War II memorial near the stadium.  Since we hadn't counted on quite so much snow, we weren't exactly wearing the best winter shoes and by the middle of the afternoon were squishing water in our shoes.  We knew we were certain to get sick sloshing around like that the rest of the day, so we headed to a рынок (market) in search of new socks.  We found a booth selling socks and the woman working recommended us some very warm socks.  She also gave us some small plastic bags so that we could wrap our now dry and ohsowarm socks in hopes of keeping water out for the rest of the day. "You know, these are men's socks. Are you sure you want them?" the seller asked me, as I said that I would take a pair as well.  Ha! That's the LAST thing I was worried about! The sock-wrapping scheme actually worked fairly well and my feet stayed mostly dry the rest of the day. I was still extremely happy, though, to peel off those shoes and socks at the end of the day.
With about two hours left in the city before we needed to head to the train station  we saw a sign for a Международная выставка кошек (international exhibition of cats) and being the cat enthusiasts that we are, just HAD to check it out.  We recognized the name of the street, so we walked a bit and then got a marshrutka and found the building with no problems.  It wasn't a huge exhibition and I'm still not completely sure how international it was, but what's not to love about a room full of cats and kittens? It was adorable and we had fun gushing over the kitties.
After that adorableness we walked in the city just a little bit more in a nice park and then headed back to the area around the train station.  We wanted to eat something and found ourselves back at that same restaurant.  The girls working there definitely realized that we were back for the second time that day, but whatever.  We boarded the train about 5 minutes before departure and made the trip back to Kharkov.
Today when I was telling one of my professors about my trip, she didn't seem to have the highest opinion of Donetsk.  But, I had a really nice day there! Maybe it was the winter wonderland the snow created or the excitement of our little adventure.  In any case, no matter how the place you end up turns out to be, it's always good to get out, see a new place with your own two eyes, and walk your little legs tired meandering around!

More pictures from the trip!

Meat from the village

A park in Donetsk

What a beautiful church!

Shaktar Stadium!

Until the last match there is left:

Hey look! I'm in the stadium ;)

WWII monument and museum near the stadium

Tanks near the WWII monument

Eternal Glory to the Liberators/Deliverers of the Donetsk Region!

Back of the monument

Snowy Donetsk

Self-photos :)

Being silly by the tanks

For the motherland!

Don't forget Lenin Square!
We saw this sign for an "International Exhibition of Cats" and just HAD to go!

Look at this cutie!!!


There was just too much cuteness to handle!

Theatre at night

1 comment:

  1. Chelsea, I really enjoy your blog and check it every day! I love the pic of Mario at the WW II memorial, with the star next to him! Reminded me of Bluestars! Speaking of which, we really miss you around there! So happy that you are enjoying the time of your life! God Bless you and keep you in His care!
    Laura Jones


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