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Back of the Net
Welcome to the second part of our Euro 2012 away fans’ guide. After looking at Donetsk earlier in the week, we're now focusing on Kiev, the other city where England will play in Polkraine. DID YOU KNOW? There is no such place as Polkraine. Keep reading for more top travel tips than you can slop a borscht at.
FixturesMonday, June 11 – Ukraine v SwedenFriday, June 15 – Sweden v ENGLANDTuesday, June 19 – Sweden v FranceSunday, June 24 – 1st Group D v 2nd Group CSunday, July 1 – Final
Stadium: Olimpiyskiy (capacity 65,000)Ukraine’s national stadium contains a transparent roof, a raised pitch, a retractable stand, and inflatable grass. Closed for redevelopment in 2008, it re-opened in 2011, to the relief of Dynamo Kiev, whose form had suffered considerably while they were forced to play home matches inside a locked building site.
History of KievKiev can claim to be one of Eastern Europe’s oldest cities, if you overlook the many occasions when it was razed to the ground and rebuilt in a different place. First founded in the 9th century, the city was devastated by Khazars, Varangians, Pechenegs, a Mongol horde passing westwards, Lithuanians, Kipchaks, Rus warlords, the same Mongol horde returning eastwards, Tatars, and snow.
In 1482, city elders moved to replace Kiev’s outer wall, traditionally made of jelly, with a new stone one. Many historians consider this a crucial turning point in the city’s development. Indeed, the city would be razed to the ground a mere two further times, not counting the 20th century.
What to seeA short drive from Kiev, the Chernobyl Museum contains a life-size model of Chernobyl’s famous power station and a mocked-up ghost village. Visitors can climb inside an actual decommissioned nuclear reactor, and handle replica plutonium. Warning: may not be safe. May not in fact be a museum.
Careful, or you know what will fall off
Where to eatKvas Khata offers a range of traditional dishes at excellent prices. Some evenings it turns into a nightclub, often with no warning and when you least expect it. Clubbers often complain that it can just as suddenly turn back into a restaurant.
Where to stayThe rooms of the quirky, boutique Hotel Metropolitan are each decorated to resemble a different epoch of Ukrainian history. Prices are good, but there is a small chance your room will be invaded and razed to the ground. Satellite TV is included.
Famous residentKazimir Malevich, the pioneer of abstract geometric art, was born in Kiev in 1879. His works were banned in the USSR after he moved away from depicting heroic proletarian rhomboids and began experimenting with bourgeois isosceles trapeziums.
Safety tipBeware of thieves, who will be on the lookout for easy pickings during Euro 2012. Avoid wearing trousers, as they contain vulnerable pockets, and before going to a match, make sure your ticket is safely locked away in your hotel.
Useful phraseShevchenko ne mih rozrizaty na krashhyj lihy V sviti.– Shevchenko couldn’t cut it in the best league in the world.
More from Back of the Net
During the Euros, Back of the Net will tweet live during the match. Follow the commentary at http://twitter.com/backofthenetFFT
Group A: Poland – It's Not All Fun & GamesRussia – Excellent Control ThereGreece – Cautious Football, Reckless SpendingCzech Republic – Might Not Surprise A Few People
Group B: Netherlands – Together As One, For Now Germany – Herr There or ThereaboutsPortugal – It's Not All About Him, You KnowDenmark – Poulsen, Poulsen & Poulsen Aim For Glory
Group C:Spain – So Good, They Might Not Even BotherItaly – The Bookmakers' FavouritesCroatia – Like A Game Of Chess. No, Really...Rep of Ireland – Oh Yeah, Lucky As Anything
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