On arrival into Kiev's Borispol airport we were greeted by our driver and within hour of wheels down we had arrived at the Statue of the Motherland where we were greeted by our tour guide Helen.
After what seemed like a rather heated conversation
between Helen the manager of the statue and a particularly grumpy employee, who
clearly wanted to go home (he was really rather vocal about it) we had
permission to go to the very top of the 91 metre platform which would
take us to the top of the arm.
A cramped four people and a very
tight squeeze lift ride later and all 6 of us and an the now extremely
grumpy non-English speaking climb guide had arrived at the base of the
With the boys going first, the assent to the top started
with a lift so small that we struggled to close the doors with four of
The remainder of the climb was interesting. By
interesting I mean one little slip and we'd have fallen to our almost
certain deaths. There was safety gear, but clearly that only gets used
when our grumpy tour guide wasn't in a rush to go home. All we were
given was a pair of gloves so old and smelly they were probably used
during the construction of the statue 33 years ago.
welded ladders took us up at all kinds of angles, until finally a tight
bend and a manhole cover and we had reached the top of her left hand.
The view was rather good though.
an even more terrifying can't really see where you are putting your
feet descent, we arrived back back with the girls. Their turn while we
slumped into the only three chairs in the enclosed room to recover and
discuss our near death experience with each other.
top viewing platform is very clearly advertised, we'd never have been
able to do it without a native Ukrainian speaker to fight our side.