4 days in Kyiv / Ukraine trip

During this year I have not traveled so much. It has been somewhat a chaotic year in terms of time and money; and although in recent months I have taken root in Berlin; I am finding my place, and I start calling this place home; Sometimes I have that need to get out of here. And why Ukraine? During the last years, I have met many friends who were born there, and after so many conversations about their country, and their traditions, I really wanted to go. I felt a certain curiosity and a special attraction for the country that I still don’t know how to explain. I have always been quite attracted to the Soviet society, and I am not generally interested in very touristy places. The first idea of ​​the trip was to travel several cities and take several trains, but again the lack of time made us decide to stay for four days in Kyiv. And it was definitely worth it.

The first thing the pilot told us when landing in Kyiv was that the temperature was -9 ° C and he wished us good luck.

It was like a time travel. A trip to a chaotic city, cold, and full of charm at the same time. I have a fascination for contrasts, and it was full of them. Beautiful buildings and abandoned buildings, the cold in the streets and hot food in traditional Ukrainian restaurants , the surly character of the people, and their charming kindness; the music on the subway, the hipsters bars and the underground techno scene…I felt in love with the capital, and I may soon return. Probably not during the winter time.

Napoli / La città del vento

During the last 4 years, I spent my birthday in a different country. I think it’s a nice tradition that I would like to keep as long I can. This year, since I have not moved away for a while, I decided to use Skyscanner and check the cheapest flights to anywhere. The options, considering my low budget, were reduced to two: Sweden or Italy. Finally, although I am looking forward to visiting the Nordic countries, I decided to spend my birthday in Rome, going through Naples first. 5 years ago, I was living in Turin, Italy, but then, I only toured the north of the country, so it was my first time in both cities.

This entry could be called 48 in Naples if it were a travel blog. But I do not want to give you a tourist guide because honestly, I’m not the best tourist. I do not really care if I do not see the most ‘popular’ things in each city. The luck of Naples is that I was hosted by local friends who took care of me, and recommended what to do and what to eat at any time. I can not be more grateful to meet people in so many parts of the world.

View from the fight, before a wind storm caused turbulence.

One of the reasons why I chose Italy before Sweden was because of the weather. Who was going to tell me that the day I landed in Naples, we were on orange alert because of a wind storm? Imagine my face when getting off the plane and see small snowflakes. In spite of everything, after having my first expresso and tried my first Sfogliatelle, I was able to explore a bit of the city and the seaside.

In the afternoon, and because of the cold did not allow me to walk through the narrow streets of the city, I decided to visit the museum of contemporary art Mother. The temporary exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe “Choreography for a show” was very inspiring. In general, all the pieces in the collection are quite interesting. The recommendation I was given was to go up to the third floor and go down through the entire building.

Floor plan of the building, Madre Museum @ Naples, Italy.

The rest of the time, I spent walking around its streets. Stopping so often to taste every typical sweet, and all possible combination of fried things. I also drink hot chocolate with beautiful people, attend an improvisation performance, and practice my (forgotten) Italian.

One thing that I found fascinating about this city, despite its amazing food and its magic spirit, was its relationship with religion. I found in the streets several small chapels where people pray for their dead people. Also, most of its churches, become emblematic spaces. My favorite, without a doubt, the Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo. I suffered a little Stendhal syndrome when I entered this building that, on the outside, seems austere, and that inside is a museum.

Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo @ Naples, Italy