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Kyiv from a Double-Decker
Last year, hop-on hop-off double-decker bus tours began functioning in Kyiv. Many cities in the world have such bus sightseeing tours, and at last Kyiv joined this double-decker club. WU Also took a tour.
Maryna Gudzevata, courtesy of OpenKyiv
At first, the unusual sight of brightly-colored double-decker buses moving along the streets of Kyiv attracted a lot of attention but soon Kyivans got accustomed to seeing these buses in the traffic and at the places that attract tourists. Welcome to Ukraine journalists joined the tour to see Kyiv through the eyes of tourists.
Tourists and visitors to Kyiv who come on business or for some other private reason can buy a ticket, hop on a double-decker tour bus, see the sights and then hop off whenever they feel like it. You can take a walk and then get on the tour bus again, at some other stop.
So far the company that operates the service, has introduced two languages in which the tourists can listen to the stories that are being told during the tours — English and Russian. Russian, rather than Ukrainian, has been chosen evidently because this language is considered to be much better known among the tourists and guests who come to Kyiv, especially those from the countries of the former USSR.
Unfortunately, the English voice pronounces the Ukrainian proper names — geographical names, names of streets, etc. — the way a Russian would pronounce them rather than the way they sound in Ukrainian, and that, in many instances, is very confusing. One hopes that this drawback will be corrected and the pronunciation in English of the proper names will be changed to correspond to the proper Ukrainian pronunciation.
Only one of the buses has been so far provided with headphones.
On the bus, you can get a city map, what’s on information, advice or directions in English. You can pay cash or with a bank card; you can purchase tickets for the tour on line.
The tour bus service was launched by Yevheniya Stepanova and Nataliya Utkina in the spring of 2010. They had worked out plans and details and found sponsors. “We thought it’s a shame that Kyiv does not have a service like this and we were sure that bus tours would be popular enough even without much advertisement or promotion,” says Yevheniya Stepanova.
The double-decker bus can also be hired by private companies or individuals for all sorts of occasions, including parties and receptions. One of the buses is equipped with a powerful stereo system and a place for a DJ.
The tour buses start their daily tours at 16 Lavrska Street (in winter — Monday is a day off). In summer, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays — three tours a day, and Fridays and Sundays — four tours a day, and Saturday — five tours. In winter, there are three tours a day.
On May 18 2011, Vitaliy Klychko, world heavyweight boxing champion and politician, conducted a tour for the winners of the Smile to the Future! an All-Ukraine best essay contest for children.
Yevheniya Stepanova and Nataliya Utkina, founders of the Company.
Learn more at www.openkiev.com.ua
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