This past weekend a college friend of mine came to visit, so of course we showed her all around town. We went to a mix of places my husband and I have been before, and new places to all of us. We took her to St. Sophia’s Cathedral, the Maidan, and Khreschatyk Street the first day, along with a traditional Ukrainian Restaurant, Pervak. Pervak was very touristy, but the food was good and the flight of infused vodka shots was the perfect way to start off my friend’s stay here in Ukraine.
One of my husband’s coworkers had recommended the Mezhyhirya Residence as a top place to show visitors, so we decided to go there on her second day visiting us. At first I was cursing my husband’s coworker because the line of cars to get to the Mezhyhirya Residence was backed up for over a kilometer. It took us nearly 45 minutes to get a spot on the side of the road, and then we walked about 10 minutes or so to the entrance. In retrospect, it would have been easier and much faster to park at the end of where the cars were parked on the side of the road and walk.
My initial annoyance was curbed shortly after we paid our entrance fee of approximately $6 USD per person and saw the beautiful grounds. Mezhyhirya was a monastery for many years before it became the summer house for former Ukrainian presidents. In 2014 it became a national park open to the public. There was a tennis court, golf course, ponds, a lake, a zoo, a few cafes, classic cars, and many more things to see on the property. It was a picture perfect fall day, so we enjoyed a few hours strolling the grounds. The residence was so stunning that I saw some brides and grooms having their wedding photos taken there!!