From Baltic to the Black Sea Travel Articles

From Baltic to the Black Sea #13
Second Day in Kyiv12 September 1999 Dear All, Just attended a mass at St Volodymir Cathedral (or St Vladimir’s in Russian) in Kyiv. It’s near my hotel and walked past it every time I go somewhere. It’s also the Mother church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the frescoes are great works of art. Walked […]
From Baltic to the Black Sea #10
Arrested in a Rebel Republic10 September 1999 Buna! At noon yesterday, I went to Chisinau’s bus station to try catching a mini-bus (“mashut”) to Tiraspol, capital of the rebel Transdnestrian Moldavian Republic. After a confusing 20 minute search for the bus, which included an examination of documents by two late teenage soldiers who asked for […]
From Baltic to the Black Sea #9
Chisinau, Republic of Moldova8 September 1999 Buna! (Hello in Romanian – officially known as Moldovan Language in Moldova) I am now in Chisinau, capital of Moldova, which became independent after the collapse of the USSR. After a great day in Odessa and 3 hours of sleep (I met up with my Odessan friend, Tanya, her […]
From Baltic to the Black Sea #6
Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine 3 September 1999 Dobree Dehn! Privyet! (Hello in Ukrainian, Russian) I am now in Simferopol, capital of the Crimean Autonomous Republic within the Republic of Ukraine. I arrived here this morning on a Belavia Belarusian Airlines flight full of Belarusian holiday makers (Crimea is the favourite seaside resort for the people of […]
From Baltic to the Black Sea #4
Belarus (My 50th country) 2 September 1999 Doobre Zhen, (Hello in Belarussian) Actually, there’s no point writing in Belarussian, as few people, even the Belarussians, speak this language. Belarussian nationalists claim that they are a separate race from the Russians but have been excessively Russified such that they have forgotten their mother tongue. Others, for […]
From Baltic to the Black Sea #3
Vilnius, Lithuania 31 August 1999 Dear All, Lonely Planet is really screwed up in terms of cybercafe locations – or maybe such places tend to open and shut down quickly. One of the two listed in Riga wasn’t there and I spent much time searching for one above a Vilnius dogdy nightclub, only to be […]
From Baltic to the Black Sea #2
Kaunas, Lithuania 30 August 1999 Laba Diena, (Hello in Lithuanian) I’m now in Kaunas, the second largest city (and capital during the period between WWI & WWII) of the Republic of Lithuania. On Sunday morning (after a late night chat with the landlady’s 2 pretty daughters), I took the 7am bus across southern Latvia into […]
From Baltic to the Black Sea #1
Riga, Latvia 28 August 1999 Dear All, It’s Wee Cheng writing from a cybercafe in Riga, capital of the Baltic republic of Latvia, also a former Soviet republic. The Latvians speak a language close to no other peoples except the Lithuanians next door, and have not had their own country until 1919. Before that, they […]