So, our first day on our travels. It started with a reasonably early start of 6:45 as we had to drive to Gatwick from Cambridge through rush hour M25 traffic over the Dartford crossing. Leaving at 7:30 we arrived in good time at about 9:30 considering our flight was at 12:20.
Check in was late to open which I attributed to typical post-soviet union inefficiency and consequently the flight was late to leave.
Flying with Ukraine International Airlines was an experience. The Boeing 737-400, which looked ageing at best was staffed by a team of anorexic giants wearing an excessive amount of foundation, which seems compulsory in the airline world. The landing was the most exciting part of the journey as the pilot decided to try to avoid a low rain cloud which was situated just in front of the runway right in our path. This avoidance resulted in some extreme banking and when you can see the runway from you window seat you know something has gone wrong. Thankfully he bailed from the landing and an almighty thrust came to allow us to ascend once again.
Our first night in the hostel we met a Dutch girl who invited herself for dinner with us literally 30seconds after we walked through the door. She was very pleasant albeit boring and was travelling alone... No surprise there. After our japanese meal she wanted to go back to the hostel so we did the gentlemanly thing of letting her walk back by herself through the mean streets of Kiev.
Using our innate British tourist instinct we located an Irish Bar and had a few drinks then came back. Job done.