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Zhitomir - a 31 photo report. UEN exclusive

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Zhitomir - a 31 photo report. UEN exclusive

Post by Nelson on Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:50 am

Zhitomir - pronounced with the accent on the "o".. Zhit-O-mir.
Not the prettiest city in Ukraine. But one of the most patriotic.
I have seen more flags in this city than in any other city in Ukraine. Also - I have noticed that more soldiers have died in the war against Putin here than in any other oblast.

You can arrive here in various way -
the most pleasant possibly is by road from Kiev. The new road is super. Smooth. And the journey time on the bus takes about 90 minutes.
Sometimes the bus stops in Korostichev. In which case you get a bumpy ride for about 20 km. And 10 minutes' longer journey.
The bus ride costs 80 hryvnia. And you arrive here, at the bus station.



Notice the marshruts to Kiev parked out front. For the return journey you simply get on. It goes when the bus is full. Usually 10 - 40 minute wait.
The bus starts outside Zhitomriska metro station in Kiev. It is the first bus in the street outside (north-west exit).
Another view of Zhitomir bus station -



And here, notice the apartment to rent stickers on the lamppost



Renting is cheap here. Much cheaper than in Kiev.
You can rent from about 1000 uah / month. A nice place might be 3000 plus utilities. Say 200 dollars, 150 pounds in total, for a month's rent.

One aside. I found people staring at me taking photos. There are not many "tourists" in Zhitomir. Maybe I was the only one.


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Post by Nelson on Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:56 am

You can also arrive from Vinnitsa, or Berdichev, to the south - either by car



The road is quite decent, but better travelling north than south.
Or by train, in which case you arrive here.



And here, the front of the station, where you would go in to get your ticket, and wait. And a large waiting room it is!
Frankly, train links through Zhitomir are poor. There is one train a day connecting Koresten, to the north, with Vinnitsa to the south, which passes through Berdichev.
There are other trains, long-haul - often in the middle of the night - which pass through. For example, from Minsk to Kishinev - linking the capitals of Belarus and Moldova.
But really, you need to travel to/from Kiev or Vinnitsa to get some more varied destinations.



Trolleybuses and marschruts stop in front of the station. Trolleybus fare now is 2 uah. 10 cents. 7p.
Marshrut fares a little more. 3 or 4 hryvnia. I forget.


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Post by Nelson on Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:04 am

The main bus station, and train station are close together. A 5 minute walk, perhaps a 2 minute run; and lie at the eastern end of the town, closest to Kiev.
Walking down the street, heading west, you come across the main shopping mall in the town, called Global.



A couple of photos from inside. Quite a good size. And lots of places to eat.
There is also a massive second hand shop selling clothes from the UK. And also books and dvds at times.
You pay according to weight! And the price goes down each day for 2 weeks, before new stock appears.
If you are lucky you might get a new t-shirt with labels for 50 cents. Or an old one for 10 cents for your gardening.



Another view





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Post by Nelson on Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:12 am

At the weekend the locals tend to go to one of three places -
Either the shopping center - above;
or to Stari Bulvar (Pushkin street crosses it, further down), where there are places to walk, a couple of parks, including one in the old Soviet style with roundabouts and things.
Amazingly dated, but still popular with children.



Further down towards the river



A smaller play area, sponsored by Roshen - Poroshenko



And the soviet style park



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Post by Nelson on Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:16 am

At the end of Stari Bulvar there is a suspension foot bridge across the river - Teteriv.



Nice views



And a lady told me off for taking this photo. I found it quite funny, to be honest.
One of the wedding guests. She asked me if I was one of the guests! I told here that I was the guest of the bridge.
Some people smiled. But she was not amused. Such is life )



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Post by Nelson on Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:22 am

5 minutes' walk to the north of the Pushkin statue, on Pushkinska - Pushkin street - and you get to the Philarmonia, and the Old Water tower.
The latter reminds me very much of the one in Vinnitsa.



Here, a better view of the Philarmonia.



But, to be honest, there is very little of architectural interest in Zhitomir.
And to the south east of the city is a vast industrial - mostly run down - area. But with some factories still working.
Also in the Zhitomir area, several places very very busy repairing tanks and other equipment for the armed forces.
Zhitomir is quite an industrial town.

Here, one other pleasant building, the main university, ivano Franko.



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Post by Nelson on Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:33 am

There are many many old cars in Ukraine still running 20 and 30 and 40 years on.
Here, an old Zaporozhets... I think runs on 2 stroke petrol.. makes a funny old noise.

Notice the old licence plate - Житомир - Zhitomir, gives a code of Жи
Newer cars have AM - the same code as in Berdichev. Both in the same oblast.
Funniest is when you see Жи on a Zhiguli car )) But here, as promised a Zaporozhets - amazing car...



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Post by Nelson on Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:38 am

I mentioned earlier that there were three places that residents tend to go at the weekend.
and the third is Gidropark.
Rather different, thankfully, from the Gidropark in Kiev.
If you go to the Kiev place in an evening - simply swimming with drunks. Men and women, mostly young.

Zhitomir has a good trolleybus system, and you can get a trolley bus from the train and bus station - 1 stop apart - to Gidropark.
But it takes about 30 minutes ride. Not bad though, for 10 cents. Trolleybuses in Zhitomir -



And Gidropark. Perhaps an hour to walk right round it. A wooded area by the river side.





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Post by Nelson on Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:44 am

Heading on a different trolleybus from the train station, I took this shot by chance through the window - a funeral for a fallen hero.
I didn't even notice the advertising poster - but very poignant -
Герої не вмирають. Heroes don't die. You often hear this chanted at funerals today in Ukraine.



On a different day, I went back and took some other photos.



The flag of the 95th airbourne - several of their dead here.

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Post by Nelson on Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:48 am

One of the young lads died one day after his birthday



They shall grow not old - as we that are old grow old...

There are several memorials around the city to the fallen in the Russian war, and also to the heroes of Maidan, as here



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Post by Nelson on Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:56 am

Finally one of the main squares in Zhitomir. To be honest, there are several. One with a tank, Pobedy Plocha, one with an administrative building and a theatre, and here one with a statue and the town hall to the right, in light blue.
The square, Maidan Korolyova, and the statue, Korolev.
I should be able to tell you something about him. One of the areas of Zhitomir is named after him. A rocket scientist, I believe. I met one man on the bus travelling to Zhitomir. He was a former soldier, and now a freelance photographer. And he was going to Zhitomir to take photographs in the Sergei Korolev Museum of Astronautics. I think he was basically the founder of Soviet space flight. Born in Zhitomir. So people come here for all sorts of reasons.

Aside - excellent article about Korolev and Soviet stupidity here
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2011/mar/13/yuri-gagarin-first-space-korolev



Notice the soldiers in uniform. They are a common sight in Zhitomir. Much more common than in Kiev, or Lviv. Several military bases around here.

And off the square, a pleasant shopping street - Mikhailivska.



Zhitomir - not the prettiest city in Ukraine. But a very patriotic one, doing its bit for the war effort.
And with more than its fair share of casualties and war graves from Putin's folly.
Mostly industrial on the outskirts. Fairly old soviet style apartments in the centre, typically 5 stories, as in some areas of Kiev also.
But if you are looking for a cheap place to live, near an air-conditioned mall, with good bus links to Kiev, then it is not a bad place to spend some time.
There was talk of one airline taking over the airport here - as an alternative to Kiev - but, in view of the current troubles, I have heard no more of this.
Maybe in a year or three.

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Re: Zhitomir - a 31 photo report. UEN exclusive

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