Across Ukraine

Across Ukraine

The nucleus of Ukraine

From Odessa I followed the river Bug (a different Bug than the one I crossed in Poland, but they have springs close to each other) straight to the center, or nucleus of Ukraine. Nucleus is the better word actually. First I spotted a beautiful lake to camp by, only to find out that it is a cooling pool of several nuclear reactors. Then I realised the locals prefer recreation by a local radon lake. And finally I got to a secret base of strategic nuclear missile forces.

And as a confirmation that I am really in the center of Ukraine, I accidentally found an official marker of the geometric centre of the country.


Cherkassy, the home base of Cossack hetman Khmelnicky, are on the bank of Dnipro in the ending area of a 100 km long and 10-20 km wide Kremenchuk water reservoir. Complete with the sandy beaches and waves it gives a reminder of the seaside. Upstream and northwest remained an untouched green area of pines, oaks, swamps and multiple branching streams of the river. A paradise for birds and frogs. I imagine this is how Europe looked like in prehistoric times. And also a paradise of fishermen just like from the movies.

Further upstream is again a reservoir, Kaniv dam, and because it is getting closer to the capital, besides passanger ships appear here also marinas with yachts. And between a tributary Kozinka and Dnipro is even a ten kilometer stretch of land occupied by the Kyievan wealth – which means that originally probably nice place is now changed into unwelcoming area of three-meter-high plain steel fences with CCTVs.


Still further upstream is the busy capital, where everything is now getting ready for the football championship. To blend in I have tasted, among other things, a genuine kvass drink sold from a barrel by old grannies on the street and I am already proficient in riding by the unpredictable marshrutka minibuses. I also hoped to give some service to the bike before further ride, hoping that in the capital they will know more about bikes than just the soviet-era “Ukraine” brand, but was not that lucky in my random choice of the repair shop.