After a mediocre breakfast here at the Slavutych, we visited the Perchersk Lavra complex in drizzling rain. The miniature exhibition recommended by Gordon is also on this otherwise orthodox pilgrimage site, strangely enough. It was however closed, and a sign on the door indicated that the museum is “closed during precipitation”. How bizarre, maybe the roof is leaking?
We searched and found the cave complex instead. We descended a couple stories into a winding tunnel, with barely more cross-section than a single person’s size. We were injected into a seemingly infinite stream of pilgrims carrying candles, and filed through the caves along a per-determined path. The tunnel has few distinctive features other than shelves cut into the side walls every few meters, each with a glass coffin, and each glass coffin with a mummified saint or otherwise notable person. The pilgrims filing through touched or often kissed each coffin. It was too dark to take photos without flash in most places, and I did not want to disturb the solemn mood with flash photography, so I only took one picture artificially illuminated in such sacrilegious manner.
When we finally emerged from the tunnels after what seemed like an eternity due to the excruciatingly slow pace of the column, the rain has stopped. We went back to the Nikolay Siadristy miniature museum which has indeed opened by then. The tiny constructions of the crazy genius who made them were really amazing, unfortunately it was not explained (at least not in English) how he managed to create the artifacts.
Next it was time for lunch, which we foolishly took in a mediocre hotel restaurant, where we subsequently got stuck as the rain intensified to a torrential downpour. After a while we decided to break out, but we almost instantly got soaked. We took a bus to Kreschatyk street, a central promenade, which was closed to cars that day for an event promoting taking a bicycle to work. It did not seem to have been very popular as only one quite tired of life would be well advised to pedal around in the Kiev traffic, especially during rush hour. The rain subsided again which let me take a few representative photos, but we were forced into a cafe again for the remainder of the afternoon until my dentist appointment. One of the many errors in planning we committed for this trip was that we only brought open summer shoes besides our biker boots, so right now both pairs are soaking wet. Now that I think about it, I should actually try to dry my boots with the hair dryer for tomorrow, otherwise I will have another miserable day for certain.
The dental appointment went relatively well, even though the dentist announced that he shall not be using anesthetics, as the procedure that will take “fifty minutes” will “not hurt, only sting a little”. I was not super glad to hear this, but he only made me convulse in pain twice, so it was acceptable. He cleaned the tooth, filled the roots temporarily, reinforced a now very thin side wall from the inside with some cement, and closed the tooth. For an hour of work and two x-rays I paid him 2537 UAH in total. I will have to go to a dentist again in three weeks time to fill the roots permanently, and get a crown put on.
Tomorrow we plan to drive on to Lviv, getting there all or part way depending on the weather.