I meant to spend all of yesterday studying for the GRE (which I'm taking tomorrow morning). Instead I decided that what I really needed to do was to find a Georgian restaurant (as in the country, not the US state) and eat some khachapuri. The restaurant I decided to find is called Alaverde, and it's located a short walk from the Poshtova Ploshcha metro station. The ambiance was pretty underwhelming (although that may have been due in part to the fact that I was the only person dining there at the time), and the service was pretty terrible. The khachapuri, however, was quite yummy.
It might have been a different experience, had the place been filled with lively folks having animated conversations...
There was also an outdoor seating area, which was far more appealing... except for the waiter scrubbing the chairs with a bucket of smelly, grey, allegedly soapy water.
Look what I found! Look what I found!
An old school Volvo! A *green* old school Volvo! Just like the one I used to have. (A few years older, actually, but pretty damn close.) And I swear I heard it before I saw it. There's something about the hum of an old Volvo engine - it's a sound you never forget. The driver gave me quite a look - I did, after all, stand in the crosswalk to take this shot. Sadly, the light turned green, and he drove off before I could get a shot from the front.
After noticing a church I hadn't yet visited, spires gleaming from atop the hill, I decided to take the funicular to the hilltop in order to see if I could find it. I do enjoy a good onion dome.
I stood in line for at least fifteen minutes, waiting to buy a 'token' that would allow me to pass through the turnstile and onto the boarding platform for the funicular. I amused myself by taking some pictures of the station.
Now, I knew that the cost to ride the funicular was 1.5 gryvna, but I wasn't really paying attention - my brain being distracted, anticipating the joys of riding a 105 year old eastern European funicular. Safety, shmafety. When I finally reached the cashier, I handed her two gryvna, took the token she gave me, and stuck it into the turnstile. And it popped right back out. I tried again; same result. Then I looked closely at it. Wait a minute! This wasn't a turnstile token, it was my 50 kopeck change! I cut back in to the front of the line and told the cashier, "You gave me my change, but you didn't give me my token." She gave me a completely blank look and replied, "To get a token, stand at the end of the line," then she turned her attention to the next person. I had obviously been dismissed from her thoughts. Welcome to Ukraine.
The line at this point was at least double what it had been when I'd arrived. Not wanting to wait thirty more minutes in order to buy yet another token, I did what any sensible person would do: I climbed the damn hill on foot. There's a rather boring park along the same hill as the funicular - nothing but some winding brick paths and a couple of benches. After a rather steep hike, I arrived at the top of the funicular, only to discover that while I was indeed at the foot of a fabulously onion domed church, it wasn't the church I had seen from down below. Instead, I was at the back of St. Michael's - a pretty church, but one which I'd already seen. At that point, I was hot, sweaty, and tired, and wanted nothing more than to return home and take a nap. And as the closest metro station was at the foot of the funicular...