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Andrew's descent

UKRAINE | Wednesday, 27 May 2015 | Views [54] | Scholarship Entry

Visiting a new city is like making love to a new partner: it may have a reputation of being an irresistible womanizer (like Paris and Rome), but that alone is insufficient for a perfect stay. The city must create an atmosphere in which you will feel wanted, meet your personal preferences, and provide you with a trigger for your epiphany.
My search for a perfect travel recipe is a history of struggle. I was never able to discern specific factors that contributed to my favorite experiences. But when I was about to abandon any hope of discovering the key ingredient, I had the serendipity of finding The One in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Climbing up the Andrew’s descent, I cursed fiercely. In winter you don’t admire the architecture, you have to watch your feet and fight for every step, because the famous cobblestone, which adorns the pavement of this thousand-old street, is particularly famous for its unbelievable slippery characteristics. Consider this: I have seen versed locals use snowboards to facilitate the walk down the Andrew’s descent.
Blinded by the snow, I was led by the senses. The street was pitch-dark. As it was very quiet, I gave a start when a sharp sound broke the silence, but then it burst into a thundering melody. I could not believe my ears – there was a violinist in the heart of snow-covered Kyiv.
The music twisted around me, its power grasped me and ordered to freeze. I listened silently, impervious to snow; “Por una cabeza” tango reverberated throughout the street.
When the melody reached its crescendo, it honestly kicked my heart. I stood there forever with my eyes wide open, freeze-framing this moment. The music seemed to have lit the lanterns, and Andrew´s church stood out in its majesty, shoring the sky with sharp-ended domes.
If you share my liking for music epiphanies, I have a real feast of sounds to offer you. Come to Kyiv in May, when the air is fragrant with blossom, and violinists come out in the streets with their violins atilt, ready to compete for your rapture. Buy fresh fruit at abundant local foods markets, take a seat on a bench, enjoy.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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