After a year of existence of Mezhyhirya as a tourist center, there are some changes, many food outlets and many places with additional fee.
This time we took the bikes ($7 for half a day). It is not possible to visit the territory of 'Honka' with bikes, so at first visit entire territory, starting from the zoo, then return the bikes and go watch Honka.
We visited the Dog Training Center ($1) and recommend this tour, especially if you love big and nice dogs. It is not possible the make pictures there, so here are only the cups.
Our camera can do 330 photos at a time. Never before during a visit to some place we used all the space on the memory card, but in Mezhyhiria that happened. Mezhyhiria means - land among mountains. Now we can say for sure, that in Ukraine appeared new world-class attraction. And if you are visiting Kiev, then definetely visit this place.
The former residence of the president is now (2014) open to visitors. At the moment, not yet decided what will be on its territory in the future, so hurry to visit the unique place. Despite the rather large number of visitors, everything looks very well-kept. Though some elements of design are started to neglect. The reason is that they were created for one person and not for crowds of visitors. In various articles is written about the lack of taste from the side of the designers, but it is not true. All the designs in Mezhyhiria outdoor and indoor done very well.
During the 2009-2014 Mezhyhiria has become the most secret facility in the country. There was almost no information about it. Only in 2012 the journalist managed to get to the area and took a few photos. How she made this? The height of the main fence is more than 6 meters :)
Construction of major facilities began in 2009, so we can say that the "owner" had not even enough time to live in his fabulous residence.
Mezhyhiria is quite large (over 130 hectares), we were there for almost 6 hours. Be sure to buy a map at the entrance for $0.5. Now already appeared some tourist infrastructure: tea, coffee, toilets. There are even souvenirs, we bought a magnet in the form of golden loaf :) "Golden loaf" is a ukrainian legend, it was found in Mezhyhiria when it was opened on 22 of February, 2014.
Be prepared to walk a lot, even the shortest route with overview of all objects is 7 km long. It is possible to rent a bike ($2.5 per hour or $7 per half day). But in the first visit I would not recommend to take a bike, better to walk on foot.
Entrance fee now is $1.5. Additionally, you need to pay for visiting the automobile museum ($2.5), dog training center ($1.5) and a tour inside the sports center and Honka ($ 17). Money is used to pay salary to 100 people of staff (previously were 1500).
Internal area is divided into several parts by fences, so you can not always go using the shortest route, use printed map. After the first gate don't turn to the left or right and go to the second gate, that will be the best start of the route.
The main thing that interests most tourists is the famous Honka and park around it. Clubhouse "Honka" is called by the name of the Finnish company, which built it. Photos cannot show the real scale of the structure, is the world's largest timber-framed house.
The house looks great from any side, a true masterpiece. Although it was built by Finns, the works were managed by Germans. On previous photo you can see, that the first 2 floors were build in a german style.
In the zoo there are some rear animals and a lot of birds. As it turned out, Yanukovych drank brandy from deer antlers and antelope milk, which acts like Viagra. Animals are beeing feed by the food prepared 4 months ago, under Yanukovych, also there is a help of some philanthropists.
There are much free space on the walls. Most of the pictures and valuable exhibits were already taken to the museum. And some other small items were taken by first visitors as souvenirs: slippers, towels, pens and so on. According to the volunteer nothing valuable were stolen.
All the huge building can accommodate only two people. Actually, despite assurances by Yanukovych that the house did not belong to him, he lived here. As evidence you can find in the house numerous photographs and images of he and his family. That is presidential bedroom.
Main staircase. Above it hangs apparently the most expensive chandelier in the house (and maybe in the world :). According to documents found, there is a chandelier for 8 million euros! Seems it's this one. But the most interesting thing is that the chandelier even more decorated with precious stones, so its price may already be several times higher.
Next we entered the large room of 200 square meters. This large hall, like the whole house is made of Lebanese cedar. Works were conducted by German company, which did this according to the real "european values" :).
Standing in this room you understand that "money over all" is the real "values" :)
Hall has several adjoining rooms. In the first president worked. By the way, despite the fact that most of the things that we see in the house are handmade, many of them just look like real wood, but is actually made of chipboard. And carpets are not hand made. Looks like someone from the environment of Yanukovych cheated and stole his money :)
Among other plates there was one saying "Horch 855 Special Roadster", although the car was not in the museum. This is a very rare car, only 7 were made, each costs more then 3 million euros. Now journalists and enthusiasts are searching for it.
Next object is a guest house, which stands pretty far from Honka.
Getting there: Address of Mezhyhirya: Petrivtsi village, street of Ivan Franko 19. Unfortunately not all maps in GPS has this address and even this village. Therefore, if you going by car, then print the map, or use coordinates or ask locals as we did. Also you can use a bus from the metro station Heroes of Dnepr in Kiev.
Mezhyhiria opening hours: from 9 to 18 (August 2015). Entrance fee $2 (August 2015).