I’m accumulating a rather impressive collection of head scarves due to my travels throughout the former Soviet Union. It’s not that I actually collect head scarves, or even wear them, but I always forget to pack one and am thus forced to purchase yet another before heading into an Orthodox cathedral/church/monastery/whatever. While visiting the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev, I opted for a cheap, boring yellow scarf. (Nothing will ever top the head scarf I purchased for our trip to a monastery in Novgorod a few years back…it was bright pink and covered with several large flamingos. I think the monks were duly impressed…or appalled.)
The Kiev Monastery of the Caves is one of the most famous sights in Kiev, primarily due to its complex system of underground tunnels. Upon entering the tunnels, you are surrounded by worshipers prostrating themselves before icons, lighting candles, and kissing glass coffins that contain the remains of monks. I was convinced that, while navigating through the narrow passageways, I would bump into a member of the candle carrying faithful and my cheap, yellow headscarf would soon be in flames. I do not recall seeing any fire extinguishers down there. If you’re claustrophobic, you might want to avoid the caves.
Seriously, how unbelievably cute is that little onion dome?