After I spent a wonderful week in London, it was time to visit one of my family's favorite places in the entire world- Ukraine! My mama lived there when she was a girl, so we go back as often as we can to visit our family there. It was very, very hot in Ukraine, so we spent most of the time inside drinking tea and talking. However, on one tolerable afternoon, I went out with my family for a walk in the center of the city.
The city where my family lives is called Kharkov in Russian and Kharkiv in Ukrainian. It's the second biggest city in Ukraine after its capitol, Kiev (or Kyiv in Ukrainian). It has about 2 million people, which is pretty big! This is me posing at a big fountain in the Taras Shevchenko Gardens in the center of the city. It's a big, big park where I have taken photos before. There are so many trees there!
Can you see the statue down at the end of the path? It's a monument to Taras Shevchenko, whom the park is named for. He was a Ukrainian poet and author.
This is me in 2011 at the monument. I didn't take any pictures with it this trip, but I wanted you to see a little piece of the monument anyway. That's me rubbing the Cossack's toe!
See the map in the bottom of this photo? This picture is of me at the monument to the 50th North parallel! This spot marks where Kharkov is on the map of the world. The words (that are upside down) on the bottom of the picture say "Kharkov" in Russian. I really like this monument because I love maps!
Next to the Shevchenko Gardens, you can find the Ballet and Opera theatre- and across from that is a beautiful fountain called the Mirror Stream! Lots of couples like to go there for photos when they get married. There were too many people to get a good photo, but here I am in front of the structure. See the flag on top? That's the flag of Ukraine!
Here I am behind the mirror stream by the fountains that lead back to the Church of the Holy Myrrh-Bearers. Can you see the beautiful golden roof?
This is me with the Church of the Holy Myrrh-Bearers just behind me. Can you see the bells? This church is new since the last time I visited Ukraine.
I went inside the church to say a quiet prayer for peace. Right now there is a war in parts of Ukraine. I hope it can be resolved peacefully and without further losses to this beautiful country.
After I visited the church, my family and I walked down past the Historical Museum to a really pretty fountain! It's in Pokrovskii Garden Square, near the Holy Virgin Monastery. Even though it was very hot out, it still felt cooler to be near the beautiful fountain with falling water.
The last place I stopped before heading back to my family's apartment was the park that overlooks Annunciation Cathedral! It's striped, like a tiger!
I love walking around Kharkov. It's really cool to see how the city changes over the years. I first visited in 2006 and there have been many new things added over time.