This week I’m “liveblogging” my trip to Ukraine. Unlike traditional reports, these posts will be shorter and more frequent.
I returned my rental car at 9:00 am on the west side of Kyiv, which is right in the heart of the morning rush hour. Rather than sit in an Uber going back to my hotel, I took the Kyiv Metro back. There, I noticed a not-so-subtle change from my trip on the Metro a decade earlier.
Kyiv Metro 2023
After dropping off my car, I boarded the Metro at Nyvky station on the Святошинсько-Броварська лінія (Sviatoshynsko–Brovarska line). The station opened in 1971 and looks like it has not been updated since then. In so many ex-Soviet cities, you cross underground rather than above ground and each station is like a mini-city of its own, with bustling bakeries and convenience stores and hair salons.
Trains run frequently and I love the countdown timer that displays the time since the last train departed at every station.
The trains look old, but are relatively modern onboard.
Fares run 8 UAH, which is about 30 US cents.
One of my favorite stations was Театральна (Teatralna) station near the Kyiv Opera Theatre. It opened in 1987 and prior to 1992 was known as Ленiнська (Leninska) station. Why?
(those were pictures I took in 2011)
After Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea, Lenin was covered and a 3D image of the opera theatre was installed over it. Lenin may still be there, but you would not know it today:
Some of these Metro stations are incredibly cavernous.
Upstairs at Teatralna station there is still some Soviet-era artwork on the wall:
Time did not permit me to stop at more stations on this trip, but there are some beauties. Most of all, though, I thought it interesting that Lenin station has been “cancelled.”
> Read More: Lenin Statues and Historical Remembrance