[Original post by Elliot Mogerman – Transferred from yahoogroups.com]
We left the small town with no name we crashed at last night and headed to kiev. As we were passing a small elementary school we noticed the kids grouped outside learning how to march by the teachers. We later found out there is mandatory military service here but couldn’t think why they were teaching something like that so young. Within 30 minutes we passed 6 police speed traps on the highway and wasn’t pulled over once. They were out in force today. We arrived in kiyev and mikes bike ewas overheating but a nice guy in an old car helped us find the center square. We rode around for a while trying to find one of the several hostels mike had gps coordinates for. Unfortunately, our american gps is way off. Two young ukrainian students instantly saw we were not local and took us to a well known national memorial park full of monuments and a old very well known orthodox christian church. He was like our private tour guide and showed us everything while explaining it all. Then we took his number and bid farewell as light was running out and we needed to find shelter. Fortunately, I found an english speaking notary service and they called a cab for us which we followed to the hostel. The ride was nothing ordinary but was extrememly aggressive and took some skill keeping up with him. My first hostel is cool. No warm water so I took a super cold shower waking me up quickly and shocking me into a hunger as we didn’t eat much today. Tomorrow and the next day we will walk around town and take it easy before entering russian. Spot wasn’t working today so we are fine and will send out messages normally tomorrow.