Flying high above the Dnipro River
"It's a rare bird that can fly to the middle of the Dnipro," wrote famous writer Mykola Gogol. Of course, this is an exaggeration because birds easily cross the river, one of Europe's broadest. Now, people in Kyiv can follow the birds, thanks to a ropeway across the river that opened this summer.
The route runs parallel to Pedestrians’ Bridge leading to Trukhaniv Island. Those brave enough can don a hardhat, harness and glide some 550 meters across the river dangling from a rope – some 50 meters above the water.
The starting point is near the rainbow-shaped Friendship of Nations Arch not far from European Square. Often there’s a pretty long line to the platform with the iron pole to which two ropes are tied. The cost is Hr 150.
Two instructors prep the riders with helmet and belts around the body and fasten them to the ropes. Once ready, the customer jumps off the platform and enjoys the flight..
A person can travel up to 60 kilometers per hour during the 60-second ride.
Another two instructors meet the rider on the other side. But it’s a one-way trip – the person has to go back on foot.
The idea for the thrilling ride came from businessman and speleologist Mykola Poplavko, owner of Skypark, a company that builds and services rope parks in Ukraine. The administrator of the ropeway is Serhiy Shyndler.
Poplavko’s company has successfully stretched a ropeway above the Kaniv reservoir in Kyiv Oblast’s Rzhyshchiv. “We found the proper place, 90 meters above water level, on military maps from where a ropeway 600 meters long was drawn to an island in the middle of the Dnipro,” said Shyndler. “Instructors carried the flyers back on motor boats or kayaks.”
The ride was available during a youth festival called Trolley, organized by Skypark in Rzhyshchiv. The ropeway near Kyiv’s Friendship of Nations Arch has the same name.
While the idea is three years old, it was only this year that Ukraine’s Culture and Tourism Ministry, as well as officials of the Kyiv City State Administration, assisted Skypark with setting up the business. The location offers a wonderful observation point high above the Dnipro River and the Podil neighborhood and is a great way to get to Trukhaniv Island.
The ropes were stretched manually using the Pedestrians’ Bridge. “If there were no bridge, perhaps, we would need a helicopter,” said Shyndler. “Also, we managed not to bother traffic on the Naberezhne highway or ships on the Dnipro.”
Shyndler assures the ropeway is “completely safe” and “certified.” He’s made the trip across six times.
Olena Moroz, a 19-year old student is enthusiastic about Kyiv ropeway.
“It takes my breath away – the sight of whizzing trees on the hills, cars on the road and waves of the Dnipro under my legs,” she smiles. “It nearly blew my mind, although, it hit me in the pocket. But I don’t regret the Hr 150 I paid.”
People under 14, students and pensioners can enjoy the ropeway for Hr 100 on weekdays. An adult-child pair has to pay Hr 250.
The ropeway is expected to work until the end of August or even September, weather permitting. Working hours are daily 11:00–12:00 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.Kyiv Post staff writer Denis Rafalsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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