MeetnGreetMe is starting publishing articles on a new topic – what it was like to travel with MeetnGreetMe and to MeetnGreet in a home city. We will share Guests’ and MeetnGreeters’ opinions and provide this information just as they saw it. Their fears, needs, desires, impressions – you will receive only unbiased and sincere facts. Let’s get it started!
This summer wasn’t just an ordinary summer for Anya and Dasha. It’s because this summer became the starting point for their MeetnGreetMe adventure in Ukraine. We will not make long introductions but we’d better give the floor to the girls.
“Hi everybody! My name is Anya, I’m 22 and I live in Minsk, Belarus. I have already been to many countries including Ukraine, but I have never visited Kiev. Finally, it became possible to go there, but it so happened that my friends with whom I was going to travel changed their plans. Nevertheless, it didn’t make me change my mind and I decided to travel alone.
To make myself safe I decided to use MeetnGreetMe travel concierge service and find someone who would help me to have a good time and not to get lost in Kiev.
Fears and expectations
I have never used MeetnGreetMe travel concierge services before, I have never asked unfamiliar people to deliver any services of this kind, so I even can say that I felt a bit suspicious about it.
That’s why I was worried that everything would misfire, that no one would meet me at the station and I would get lost somewhere. But hope is the last one to die, so I got on a train and headed for Kiev.
I wanted to find a MeetnGreeter who would meet me at the railway station, tell me about Kiev and Ukraine, its traditions and local people, what to do and what not to do in the country. I was curious to learn about the main landmarks, especially I longed for visiting Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square).
And like many girls, I wanted to do some shopping in the local shopping centres. I have heard a lot about Kiev’s huge amazing shopping centers with relatively reasonable prices. So I wanted my MeetnGreeter to tell me where it’s better to go.
We agreed upon everything on the website really fast. My MeetnGreeter Dasha responded in less than no time which gladdened me so much that I felt confident that everything would be great!
Unforgettable days in Kiev and Ukrainian hospitality
Oh, these two days were fabulous! They were so much stuffed with impressions that it’s difficult to recollect immediately how many activities we did, how many new things I learnt, how many warm-hearted and kind people I met.
Dasha was my MeetnGreeter in Kiev. She was born in Belarus but moved with her family to Ukraine in her early childhood. It turned up that Dasha got very well prepared to my arrival :) She read some information on Wikipedia, various articles and then told me everything she had learnt.
My name is Dasha, I’m 24. For more than 7 years I’ve been living in Kiev and enjoying this city. I became a MeetnGreeter because first and foremost I want to get a new experience and emotions.
Our two-day excursion went through my favourite city itineraries. Within 2 days we have visited almost all the most interesting places in Kiev – Podil neighbourhood, Khreshchatyk street, Mariinsky Park, Andriyivskyy Descent, National Exposition Centre VDNKh. We had time to see Kiev Pechersk Lavra, climbed the Lysa Hora hill, watched boats sail away from the River Port, visited the Golden Gates historic monument, admired the beauty of Taras Shevchenko University main building – my alma mater. In the evening we had a great time in Kiev bar with the Ukrainian youth’s top guns – my friends.
We started from Kiev Pechersk Lavra (also known as Kiev Monastery of Caves) and watched a wedding ceremony. I don’t know if that day was a special one or not, but everything there was so beautiful and opulent that I wanted to watch and admire it unflinchingly.
We visited “The Motherland Monument” statue that seemed to me absolutely enormous. It stands 62 m tall upon the museum building, so the overall height is about 100 m. There were lots of tourists, but I was surprised that few people were taking photos. Guys told me that many people understood that we should simply look and enjoy, memorize vivid impressions rather than waste time on taking photos.
We ate in one of the most authentic national cuisine restaurants in Kiev. Naturally, we ordered a chicken Kiev, borsch, pampushki (buns) and mashed potatoes. Its beautiful interior, kind and friendly staff and affordable prices really correspond to the high quality of the dishes. After that, we visited many other cafes where we tried pastry and cocktails. So many people were sitting on patios laughing and joking. What caught my eye was that there were lots of foreigners strolling with ordinary Ukrainians and listening to their stories about Kiev. It was funny because everybody was trying to speak a mixture of English, Russian and Ukrainian.
Then I finally got to the Ocean Plaza shopping center. Oh, this is paradise! As I expected, the prices were reasonable and the range of choice was huge. 4 hours went in a flash.
Dasha and her boyfriend picked me up after shopping and we went to a bar. Their friends came to the bar as well and we had much fun together. Despite everybody was speaking Ukrainian, I understood everything, kept the ball rolling, joked and guys laughed at my jokes. The atmosphere was very warm and relaxed. I told them many things about Minsk, our people, about what is going on in Belarus. Something was astonishing for them, something amazed me because we are neighbouring countries but with so many differences. That was interesting; it’s always amazing to learn something new.
In “Parasol’ka” cocktail bar I was trying to guess the translation of the word “parasol’ka” for a long time. Turns out that it means an “umbrella”. The Ukrainian language has so many funny words that are translated in a way it is difficult to guess. It was cool in that bar – we drank cocktails, smoked hookah. People around us were nice and funny, hugging and taking photos.
Despite I hired Dasha’s services for only 3-4 hours, we spent much more time together. And I’m very grateful to her and her friends for that because they made my trip even more vibrant.
At about 4 a.m. we came home, slept for only 5 hours and went for a walk. We reached the most romantic place in Kiev – the Love Bridge. There were so many locks, high trees and such a beautiful outlook on Kiev that it seemed incredibly nice with couples strolling and kids playing.
After that, we drove in a forest for a picnic. Ukrainian forests are as clean, beautiful and deep as in Belarus with fresh air, singing birds and growing mushrooms. We cooked food on fire, played Frisbee, told many interesting stories.
And… that’s it, it was time to come back home to Belarus. It was really very sad. Usually, I want to come back again to few cities because I always thought it’s better to visit new countries as it’s not interesting to come back to places where you’ve already been to. But it’s not about Kiev. I will come there with great pleasure and, possibly, not only once.
My impressions? That was incredible! Everything I planned worked out well and even more. Now I have lots of photos and lots of recollections. If only you knew how many my friends have already heard a story about my trip to Kiev! Though, at first they were surprised that I went alone in an unfamiliar city and asked an unfamiliar person to meet me there. But I talked them round. It’s an interesting experience and we have only one life, so we should do extraordinary things so that we will have stories to share and remember.
Will you use MeetnGreetMe service again?
Of course! With great pleasure. Over and over. I’m happy that everything was like that and in the nearest future I will go on another trip. I hope MeetnGreetMe will help me with that!
We thank Anya and Dasha for sharing their impressions with us! If you want to tell the world about your adventure with MeetnGreetMe personal assistance and concierge services, just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will feature your story!