Caucasus trip 2019, part 2

This post chronicles part 2 of my dad's and my month-long trip in June 2019, aka the part where we're not in the Caucasus anymore. You can find part one over here.

In part one I mentioned that we took a ferry from Batumi, Georgia, to Odessa Ukraine.

We took a tour of the Odessa Catacombs, a huge series of tunnels around and under the city. Most of the catacombs, including the section we were in, were the result of mining.

Swimming in the black sea, feat. concrete extrusions people jumped off.

From Odessa we took a train to Chișinău, Moldova.

Memorial 9 mai 1945:

From Chișinău we took a night bus to Kyiv, Ukraine. A very strange experience, especially since we had to go through passport control 3 times, so we were only able to fitfully sleep until about 1 AM, when we passed into Ukraine.

This is Maidan Nezalezhnosti, which was the site of huge protests in 2013 which kicked off Euromaidan:

It's less crowded now, during the day. At night it was pretty bustling, though.

And they have an outdoor Euromaidan museum installation:

Our Airbnb was about 5 minutes away from St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery and the neighboring Volodymyrska Hill.

A nice Soviet workers' monument:

Saint Andrew's Church

Kiev Pechersk Lavra:

And its impressive iconostasis:

I'm not quite sure what's going on here:

From Kyiv we took a bus to Lviv. Lviv is pretty far west of Kyiv and used to be in Poland, so it had much more western influence, and used to be more Catholic, so there's much more diversity in their religious buildings.

This Armenian church was colorful and beautiful:

We happened to be in Lviv the weekend of Leopolis Jazz Fest, which was good timing:

After leaving Lviv we just had a 2 hour flight, 13 hour layover, 14 hour flight, 3 hour layover, and another 2 hour flight before we were home free! To wrap up, one last picture from the 3 hour tour during our layover in Istanbul:


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