We needed to be out of our apartment and our luggage to one of the other apartments by 9 am. So we were up early and headed out. All the couples luggage was stored at one apartment so we could share the cost for the day seeing that we would be heading out of Kiev tonight on the train. After dropping off our stuff, we headed out early to go do a session at the Kiev Temple. That was a wonderful experience. Hubby and I were asked to participate, if you know what I mean, and that was even more special. It was a temple experience from a whole different perspective seeing that we were the ones who spoke a different language. What a beautiful temple.
We were supposed to make it back by 1 pm for a tour but we left the temple by 1. We realized we didn’t have a ride back from the temple but managed, with the help of an English speaking temple worker, to get two cabs to take us back. We were all, meaning four couples and two children, hanging out in the one apartment until we went out for a short tour. We needed to get back to the SDA to pick up our referral letters. So, we took a short tour. Today was much colder. The sun was out but misleading, because when the wind blew it was very cold. We stopped off at the Pizza place across the road from the SDA and ordered a quick bite. It has become a hang out for us. We had to wait for an hour or so at the SDA but finally got our letter. We dashed back to the apartment to get our things together and head for the train station.
I have to say a bit about our cab experiences. The drive to the temple was pretty good. But remember, the driver speaks Russian and we speak English and then he gets lost. Apparently cabs have a hard time getting to the temple. It is on the outskirts of Kiev. He said something, one of the men said something, it sounded like they understood each other, but they didn’t. A phone call fixed the problem. We went to fish for our seatbelts when we first got in and realized that the buckle part was way down in the crack of the seat and one of the women and I looked at each other and realized that taking our chances without a seat belt beat fishing out that buckle!
I watched several times as we were in traffic that people walking on the street were beating us everywhere we went. It is so stop and go that you literally could walk faster than you can drive. Our driver on the way home from the temple was really nice. We couldn’t understand him either but he was really a nice man. Everyone we have come across has been great.
I am actually writing this on Word with the laptop as we are traveling on the night train and will post it the next time we have internet. The train station looks like Grand Central. It was big, beautiful but incredibly filled with people. So, we have two large suitcases, one large duffle bag and three carry on bags, Another couple had two large suitcases, one smaller one and carry on sizes. Another couple had at least that and last but not least I heard my friend tell her son, count our bags, there should be twelve of them. So, picture us herding our way through a very busy train station, up a huge escalator, across the building, past a train platform, down three flights of stairs and onto the platform we needed to be at. Think about it! It was slightly nerve racking but at the same time fun.
We made it to our platform and to our two cars. Now, this is not the kind of train you see in the movies today. This is the kind of train you see in old, old, black and white movies. This was a real, oh my goodness, choo-choo train! We had to buy in first class because tickets were out for the four sleeper compartments. There were two compartments in one car and one couple would have to have a compartment in a separate car. We drew for it and Hubby and I ended up in our own car away from the others. It really doesn’t matter though. We spent the first hour or so sitting with the lights off and watching everything go by outside. We sat there and said to each other “Did you ever in a million years think we would be on the other side of the world riding a train in the middle of the night!” No we didn’t but the train is actually really fun. I have made an oath not to use the bathroom though. I can wait.
It has been a fun and successful day and we know more than ever that we are in the right place at the right time being led by the right guide in our life! So, goodnight to all our friends and family as we ride across the countryside of this beautiful world we live in. Life is good! We love you all! Thanks for your comments, prayers and messages they mean everything to us!