Here I am sat in the airport waiting to board the plane back home. My three night trip to Kiev has come to an end and I can’t help but think that it’s probably the right time to leave.
After England got knocked out of the competition, the streets were empty, no more chanting and the odd Italian flag flying. We had a walk around the city and viewed some of the sights.
At the top of a hill was St. Andrew’s church, a magnificent building, overlooking Kiev. From the view it’s possible to see that there are a few palaces/monasteries dotted around the city with their gold tops shining in the red hot sun. It’s hard to believe that there was ever a football tournament here. It’s not a bad thing; it was great to see what the city looks like away from the fanzone and the tourists sitting in the pubs.
Also on the hill was a flea market, where it was possible to buy local souvenirs and football shirts. Prices were cheap and it was a good opportunity for my sister to buy some gifts to take home. As she was buying a number of items, the seller was willing to give her a discount.
However, after realising that she would end up with coins that had no meaning or value outside the Ukraine, she offered to pay the full amount which the seller was very grateful for. She was in a bizarre situation of initially bartering down the price only to put it back up again!
Overall, Kiev is a very friendly host city. The Ukrainians are smiley and always willing to help. It will be a great place to host the final. However, I do believe that it would be a lot livelier if the English were there.