Like nifflers in search of all things shiny | Australian Maths Trust

Like nifflers in search of all things shiny

Saturday morning brought more delicious breads and far too much choice with even butter requiring a decision to be made. With no particular agenda for the day, breakfast was a leisurely occasion and grazing and a long game of Contact went late into the morning.

The supermarket downstairs was fun to explore though it quickly became clear that Ukrainians must be better at making decisions than us! Deciding on a brand of bottled water was taxing enough; just as well we didn’t need to decide on biscuits, or dried fruits, or vodka for that matter. The pancakes made fresh in-store are definitely something we’ll have to go back for during the week.

We had booked the hotel shuttle bus for an afternoon trip into the city though it turned out that booked mustn’t quite mean booked. Still, we made it to European Square and enjoyed an afternoon essentially playing Spotto but in search of golden domes instead of yellow cars.

Strolling through the city, we did learn to be somewhat wary of the maps. Turns out that the indication that “you are here” describes here in Ukrainian but over there in English.

St Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery and St Sophia Cathedral were stunning as were the views of the River Dnipro and the city below.

We were certainly happy enough just strolling along and taking photos of one shiny thing after another, but quite serendipitously we discovered Grace’s hidden talent as a tour guide. Captivated, we were all ears as she explained to us the symbolism present in monuments of soldiers on horses with 0, 1, or 2 (but not 3) hooves raised. The poor rider in the Bohdan Khmelnytsky monument seemingly died from his battle-wounds.

We managed to remember about lunch some time after 3pm, and after quite a lot of confusion about the meaning of lunch (not necessarily defined as a middle-of-the-day meal but perhaps as a business occasion with a set menu?), we enjoyed a Georgian feast complete with the full range of teas, matzoon, khinkali, and khachapuri. Yum!

When we concluded that the hotel shuttle might not be coming for us at 4:30pm, we took the opportunity to stroll up the hill to see Kyiv’s Puppet Theatre, though only for a short while before we had to turn our efforts towards finding a lost phone (unfortunately with no luck – sorry Vicky!).

Back at the hotel, not quite hungry for dinner, we lost track of time playing games in our newly-found level 2 lounge. And how perfect is it that we have a contingent of 8 from Australia this year? Just the right number for Gluck 🙂 (The table was a bit skinny though – we did have to move to the floor.)

It was well after 9pm when the adults decided we couldn’t just have Pringles for dinner and we should head for some soup and bread (and dessert) downstairs. The food here is definitely too good to be skipping meals, that’s for sure!