Dnipro in Ukrainian, Dnieper translated to English: the European river on the East side of Europe. Far, eastern side of the world from the Western European perspective – in the land undiscovered yet by random tourists, especially with the conflict on the Eastern borders of Ukraine rumbling surprisingly close to this huge river. Fear not, Dnipro is peaceful – at least for now.
This is one of the major European river flows, 2,145 kilometers total length – fourth in Europe. With the source near Smolensk in Russia, Dnipro flows through Russia, Belarus and Ukraine on its way into the Black Sea.
It featured in ancient Greek geography as part of the Amber Road, and the main location for Goth capital of Arheimar. Dnipro Rapids were part of the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks, mentioned in the Primary Chronicle.
It has always held a spell over me, maybe due to being prominently featured in 19th century literature of Sienkiewicz, with the water set on fire with war and passion and Cossack blood feedings its flow – I was an avid reader of his Trillogy books as a child. I was extremely happy to be able to see the river finally with my own eyes, during my June 2016 Ukrainian travels.
This will be a photoblog, full of Dnipro near Zaporizhia (Запорі́жжя), near old Cossack settlements on a huge Khortitsya Island in the middle of Dnipro river. On that day we walked on the huge electric dam with electrifying and terrifying history, and unifinished bridges, hanging like a concrete, cut-in-half rainbow over sunset horizons.
Let me take you down for a quick Dnipro exploration in my summer photography : )
First look at the huge Khortitsya Island, here seen in the background from the bridge leading to the dam from the city. Khortitsya contains the Cossack Settlement museum and Cossack horse riding theatre – and is the perfect getaway for walking trips in beautiful nature, dotted by the Iron Age stone rings hidden in the forest:
The electric dam in all its glamour as seen from Khortitsya Island from the Cossack Settlement Open-air Museum:
Zaporizhia (city) as seen from Khortitsya Island over Dnipro – in the day and in sunset:
This is where teenagers from Zaporizhia go to in the evening to escape parental control – jumping over the crumbling muscle of never finished bridges, hanging over the river on both side of the island (two unfinished skeletons reaching out to the land, like a promise frozen in time, never to be completed). Locals of the city told us that during construction money mysteriously disappeared, never to be seen again, and most likely these half-made bridges are in too much decay to continue construction if funds would be there again. So they stayed, memento to Ukrainian past and present:
And for the last touch, a beautiful hike on the side of the island and the setting sun kissing my hair on Khortitsya Island over Dnipro.
If this was the way of that part of the world to say to me: come back, look how beautiful and peaceful it is here – it worked. I loved my Dnipro days, and I would love to come back to see the gentle flow of that river again ❤