June 2024


Kiev III: Cossacks

My last full day in Kiev, Katya took me to the Mamajeva Sloboda – a recreation of a 17th century Cossack village located west of the city center. As an idea, it’s great, reminding me of Colonial Williamsburg in concept. In execution, well… it’s a bit more problematic.

The Mamajeva Sloboda, with a few […]

Kiev II: Return to Український національний музей “Чорнобиль”

1:23 (am), when the accident occurred.

Brought to you by Japan.

Man, I sure know how to pick the most cheerful spots in Kiev.

Like last time, back in 2006, I visited the Chernobyl Museum in Kiev. Unlike last time, this time I went alone. Katya spent her Friday supervising workmen in her […]

Kiev, Part 1: День Перемоги

My time in Kiev was meant to be relaxing – insofar as visiting a place with a language that I can neither read nor speak can be relaxing. I might not speak Swedish, but at least I can read the signs and understand if I am going the right direction in a quick glance.

The […]

I need to slow down.

Geesh, I have not had a lot of time to blog lately.

What have I been up to?

Thüringen Bratwurst

I spent a weekend down in Thüringen, one night each in Jena, Weimar, and Erfurt – it was a weekend of visiting many friends and three kids. Unfortunately I only saw two kids because […]

Sylvester Planning

Since moving to Germany, I have never spent New Year’s Eve in Germany.

My first year I partied in Prague, the second year I found myself in Kyiv, the third year was spent sleeping, preparing for an early morning flight, and last year I was in Guadalajara.

Three of the four were memorable for all […]

Armenia Planning Update

Sunday night I started panicking about my September trip to Armenia. Hotels in Yerevan, the capital city, are more expensive than I expected, although I suspect there is a significant price premium for booking hotels that can be found on the Internet—this is a country where few places have a web presence.

I finally drew […]


I was going to use the word “coda” in a blog entry, when out of the blue, MT used it in her Bluegrass entry. Grrrrr….

I’m using it anyway.

Kyiv was, in many ways, a perfect coda to Lisbon.

In Lisbon, I took a funicular—the first funicular I’d taken in years. I repeated this in […]



Originally uploaded by elmada.

So, since leaving Kyiv, I’ve not really given an overall impression of the city, nor have I completely thanked Katya’s family for hosting me.

Without further ado, I will address the second point:

Dear Katya’s Family:

Thank you ever so much for hosting me over New Year’s Eve. […]

Atheist at the Church

Kyiv Pechersk Lavra

Originally uploaded by elmada.

The first time I ever felt like an atheist at the church was when I first visited the Indianapolis Speedway—home of the Indy 500, the Brickyard 400, and (maybe) the US Formula 1 Grand Prix.

I still remember the trip quite clearly: I was searching for […]

Chornobyl and Great Patriotic War Museums

My time in Kyiv was severely impacted by the New Year’s Eve holiday, which extended into New Year’s Day. I spent much of New Year’s Day sleeping off the effects of vodka and staying up until 4am.

Accordingly, my visits to Kyiv’s museums were limited to only the ones that I was most interested in […]