Travel blog: Ukraine

UpF Goes to Ukraine – 13-17 November 2019

On a rainy Wednesday morning in November, 24 tired students gathered at Umeå Airport for our flights that would take us to Kiev, Ukraine. At 17 local time we landed at Kiev Boryspil airport and were met by a small bus that took us to our hostel in central Kiev. We quickly unpacked and put our luggage in our rooms and went of to a local ukrainan restaurant. At the restaurant we were served traditional ukrainan food while a local ukranian band was playing music. It was great way to bond with the travel group and at the same time experience Ukrainan food and music. After our visit to the restaurant we went to the supermarket to stock up on breakfast and snacks for the next day trip to Pripyat.

On Thursday morning a minivan picked us up outside of our hostel and took us all the way to the civty of Pripyat and the nuclear plant Tjernobyl. It took us 3h to get to Pripyat and during the trip and our guide gave us some interesting information about the history of the city and the surrounding villages. While in Pripyat we stopped by Tjernobyl which gave us a very close viewing of the nuclear plant and the dome surrounding it. After the visit to Tjernobyl we got a walking tour of the city of Pripyat. We saw the inner city square, the supermarket and the empty abandoned houses. On our way home we stopped by a military station and viewed something that looked like an electric field.

When we returned to Kiev we shortly stopped by the hostel and then went to a pizza restaurant nearby. Since most people were tired from the full day trip we did a quick stop by a bar and then returned home to get a full night sleep to charge up our energy for the next activities. On friday we had two main activities. Our first stop was the anti-desinformation organization StopFake. We met with Yevhen who gave us an hour presentation of the current desinformation situation in Ukraine. After our meeting with StopFake, we had a quick lunch and then headed to the Swedish Embassy. At the embassy we met with Louise and Hilma, two embassy employees, who gave us a full presentation on how life is working at an embassy. They also provided us with insights in the current Ukraine-Swedish relations.

After our Friday activities there was some free time for people to browse the city. During the evening, we split up into smaller groups for dinner and then gathered at a city bar. The day after was a free day for the travellers to decided for themselves what they wanted to do. During the evening we again split up for dinner and gathered with the group at a bar afterwards. On Sunday morning we were picked up by the same bus which we arrived in which took us back to the airport and then back to Sweden. The trip was very successful and visiting an eastern european country was quite the cultural experience for some of the students.