A country whose state song declares that 'Ukraine has not yet died' might not seem the most uplifting destination, but don't let that deter you. The country rewards travellers with hospitable people, magnificent architecture and kilometres of gently rolling steppe. Ukraine is a major player in the region's economy, though for every smoggy industrial city there are dozens of villages with picket fences, duck ponds and overloaded horse carts, where time seems to stand still.
Ukraine has its share of the thoroughly modern, but even the capital, Kiev, is replete with Gothic, Byzantine and Baroque architecture and art - reminders of the many foreign overlords who've left their mark on the country. Nearly every city and town has its centuries-old cathedral, and many have open-air museums of folk architecture, caves stuffed with mummified monks, and exquisite mosaics wherever you look. The food sticks to your ribs and the