Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kherson, Ukraine

This elm tree stump was carved with images from Russian fairy tales to commemorate the Russian victory over Turkey in 1787. Kherson, which rates hardly a mention in the Bradt guidebook to Ukraine, is a pleasant city along the Dnieper that has been a hub of shipping and shipbuilding since the time of Catherine the Great.
This monument lies along a leafy pedestrian walkway lined with cafes downtown. There was also an Internet cafe there, where the young manager was unusually honest. By mistake I gave euros instead of hryvnias to pay for my time. He pointed out my mistake so I could correct it. The hryvnia is worth only about one-tenth of a euro, so the difference was significant.
Today the shipbuilding industry is not thriving, but Kherson retains the air of a once prosperous small city. Many of the crew on my ship hailed from Kherson, the ship's home port.


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