On Sunday, we went on another adventure into the city to see the Pechersk-Lavra, which included going into the monastery caves! I had read about this on TripAdvisor, and thought it sounded like a fun thing to check out. I had read that you needed to buy a shawl of some sort to cover your head, so had already planned on doing so, since there are a lot of stands around conveniently selling them. But what I didn’t realize was that you should ALSO wear a long skirt, and just cover up in general. Since I knew it was going to be a hot day, I wore a tank top and shorts, and have never felt so judged in my life! Whether it was grandmas or the priest inside the caves, they rebuked me several times and asked me to wear a skirt to cover up. In hindsight, it was kind of funny, but I felt so bad because it seemed like I was genuinely disturbing their worship. Totally something that would happen to me, of course :)! I was amazed to see how many people came and kissed EVERY SINGLE tomb and prayed. Some of them, you could even see their shriveled hands and toes! They wouldn’t let us take pictures inside, so I’ve dug up a photo from the internets so you can see what I’m talking about. The caves are long and winding, and you never really know which way is up or out, and so after a while, I started freaking out a bit, especially because we ended up seeing the priest that had shamed me earlier, again, and I needed to get out of there! Definitely a fun thing to do, I would highly recommend it. The gardens and buildings all around are also incredibly ornate and beautiful, as you can see in the pictures below.
After our first excursion, we went to grab a bite to eat at a restaurant that was pretty much right next to the church, and it was pretty tasty! The building was really interesting, with a winding staircase that would go all the way up to the top. We had a beer, soda, coffee, a lasagna, burger and fries, and a slice of a raspberry tart of some kind, and it all came out to less than $20. Score!
After lunch, we went to check out the Miniatures Museum, which is where the famous Ukrainian artist Mykola Syadristy presents his collection of miniature art. It was so amazing! Each piece was encased with a microscope, where you could check out the pieces and read a short description. I have no idea how he made all of these tiny, delicate items, and it was definitely worth the $4 entry fee. We also took some pictures with sculptures that were around the area. If you ever come to Kiev, I would definitely recommend seeing this area. We spent a total of around 4 hours walking and having fun, which is quite necessary when you’re about to start an IVF cycle.