Is it really made of gold? – the guests of my walking tours are asking me when looking at the golden domes of monastaries and cathedrals. “But why is this beautiful building in such a poor situation?” – the other most asked question. I am asking myself the same question: why?
I like Saint Sophia Cathedral. What I do not like – is walking there through the easiest ways. I turn the corner and choose the off the beaten track road. And then I get into hidden backyards. There is the other life there. I call it beautiful ruination.
Topographical cretinism or How do I find hidden backyards in Kyiv?
You can find hidden backyards everywhere, the only thing that you need – is a curiosity and an ability to get lost even in the most visited places. I call it topographical cretinism, and I am not offended if somebody calls me like this. I actually take it as a compliment, because if not this disorder, I would not be able to find all the beautiful places I am guiding my guests to. Isn’t it charming to let yourself get lost in your city? If I can afford it while travelling abroad, why can’t I do it in Kyiv?
Radar of a photographer
7 years of being into photography were not in vain. My inner feeling always guides me towards places with bizarre details. I love to take photos of these places, and to stare at them in astonishment. Those, who has camera as one of their best friends, I invite for a phototour and we will hunt for beauty together.
A lot of Kyiv backyards preserve the history of old times. History, that should be learnt and taken care of, but not ruined and forgotten. The contrasts of my city are really painful sometimes. But the guests of my tours are looking at these places in bewilderment. How could the governmemt let the home of the creator of the first helicopter in the world be ruining (right in the city centre)!? What do they plan to build there? How can a building of a first ambulance in Kyiv (a great example of venetian gothic architecture, which is said to be a copy of Madrid ambulance building) be standing in the old city centre and falling apart?
Beautiful ruination is happening just behind the Kyiv golden domes, bordering the new built skyscrapers and office boxes. Kyiv is city of contrasts, and I want you to see it.
A stalker who never stops exploring
Getting into the hidden backyards in Kyiv is like to quench my thirst during a hot summer day. Except the thing that I do it all the year round. I know that there can be a backyard inside of a backyard. There I can stop for a while after a long rush and observe everyday life. There I look into someone’s window, while standing on the roof of some old garage.
There I might see an opened door into someone’s building, and I take a chance to enter and see what is inside this 19th century building: the patterns on the balusters, the rubbed off tiles on the floor and strangers passing by, and looking suspiciosly at me: I definitely do not look like one of their neighbours.
They might think I’m a stalker. And I am just a curious guide who never stops exploring.
If you want to accompany me on my stalker’s exploration of hidden treasures of Kyiv, welcome on my Kyiv Backyards Walking Tour! If you want to combine hidden backyards with must see sightseeing places of Kyiv, I invite you on my Awesome Kyiv Author Tour – as awesome, as you are.