Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Longest City in Europe"

Interesting Ad in the New Downtown

World War II Memorial

Orthodox Church

Market Entrance in Old Centre

Men's Day at the Hotel

My interpreter, Olla, said that Krivoy Rog is Europe's longest city. Shaped like a horseshoe, it runs 120 km long, parallel to the iron ore deposits that gave birth to the city's main industry, mining. She added that the city is industrial, contributes 15% to Europe's pollution, has many parks and trees to counter the foul and dirty air.

What to do? Not much really especially if one happens to be in Krivoy Rog during a very snowy, cold winter. Crimea and the Black Sea are further south where the weather can be just as wintry cold. Dnepropetrovsk, the capital of the oblast (district) is about 2 to 3 hours on a bumpy potholed highway. It is another mega industrial center of the old soviet era, a closed city until the 1990's.

One experience I will remember is Men's Day on February 22. It is father's day and heroes day rolled into one. On this day, men, age 18 and over, are honoured by families and colleagues. At the hotel where I had stayed, the staff of the Hotel Aurora gave a mid-day reception in honour of their male colleagues. As a token of appreciation, a lady in the management handed out envelopes to the male staff including the big boss.

Summer, winter, fall or spring, Krivoy Rog in a nutshell is where tourists don't visit, and the locals know it.