1025th Anniversary of Kyiv
I read that it's either the 1030th or 1031st anniversary, but since "1025" is written next to the planted clock and new floral painting of St. Sofia, I'll go with 1025. For this anniversary, the city of Kyiv threw a huge weekend party. The weekend began with a highway bike race with national and international (Bulgaria, Belarus, Israel, etc) riders. The oval circuit ran the length of Kreshchatyk Boulevard from European Square to Bessarabs'ka Circle.
The day was originally to begin with a Gay Pride parade, but with Orthodox priests referring to homosexuals as "rabid dogs" and many, many threats of violence, the parade was canceled--as it was last year.
There were even more people selling "props" for photos. The guy in the above photo is holding a chinchilla (I think) and he has a little rabbit in the background. If you want to pet the animal or have a photo taken holding one of them, there is a fee. Ukrainians love to be photographed by their friends with these "props", in costume, or in front of any beautiful landscape. Ukrainians mostly use large digital cameras instead of cell phones. I'm impressed with the number of large cameras I see here.
We went to a landscape park that had "green cars" meaning that the cars were part of the landscape design. The designs very clever and beautiful.
There were flowers everywhere and more photo-op props. This pink bike with the basket of pink and white flowers was irresistible, although I need more practice as a model.
My friend Elen Chikhladze from Tbilisi, Georgia, was in Kyiv, too. She was dancing at a nearby club tonight so Dan and I went to see her.
The dance concert began with amateur dancers of all ages who had a lot more courage than I ever would. Then the professionals took the stage. I am not exaggerating--Elen was the highlight of the evening. Wearing gold, she danced a very lovely piece in the middle of the concert. Then she had the last dance--a dramatic grand finale performed to Carmina Burana music.