Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Kiev - first impressions

The first day is quite halara time. I joined the BESTies from LBG Kiev in their national EBEC, organised in the University. Met some friends I had a long time to see and a lot of new interesting people.

One of my friends took me to a small tour around the University grounds - she told me about the history and structure of the place. Unfortunately, I cannot recall all the details, but there are some things that I remember vividly.

The campus is quite big and I would also say interesting, especially some buildings that have historical significance. The oldest ones are the most beautiful ones - both inside and outside - and with a little imagination, you can think yourself being in Hogwarts - especially if one takes in account the statues situated just outside. Some of them really resemble professors of Magic, like the statue of Mendeleev. He had been giving lectures for some years in the Technical University of Kiev, and there is a statue of him, as a tribute to his work.

Now that I think about it more, there were a lot of statues or busts around the campus - each one for a professor/engineer/scientist that contributed somehow to the University or the world. There are also 2 or 3 museums around - one has to do with aerospace engineering (it has on display rockets and parts that have been in space!)

A very interesting road is the Polytechnichna street, where students pass by, exercise on roller skaters, gather to listen to music and drink.

Just in front of the University, there is a big park, filled with trees and guess what's more: squirrels! Many of them and quite daring: they are not afraid of people at all, actually they approach people for food. They are very cute, and I hope I have time in the next days to feed them and take pictures of them. ^^

On the other side of the park there is a Zoo, which I hope I have time to visit, even just for a bit.

I also tasted for the first time Ukrainian food. It reminds me a bit of Latvian food (lots of potatoes!) but it is quite different. For now I have tasted some weird pancakes, betok, and a delicious piece of cake containing some berries (don't know the name) that don't exist in Greece. I love berries, all colors, all kinds!

I was surprised to find out that people here don't drink water while they eat - generally don't drink a lot of water, instead, lots of tea. Tea here is quite nice, and there are a lot of different flavors to choose from. (there is also water with bubbles here, and you have to develop skills to recognise normal water from the others.)

Also, another peculiar thing is the self-service restaurants-cafeterias, it seems that there is only this kind around here. They are popular to students, I guess because they are cheaper.

Prices are quite low - a meal can cost less than 2-3 euros and you can drink coffee and eat some cake with less than 1,5 euros. Even cheaper is beer, something I discovered when we visited a pub near the University. I was surprised to see nargile there, but I later found out that they are quite popular mainly because of the Turkish students that have migrated here in order to study.

I have to admit that when I first arrived, I got a strange impression - and I think that's because I saw Munich before and I was fascinated and was very tired (hadn't slept for 2 days). But as time went by, I came to like everything even more. 
 Let's see what the next days have to reveal!

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