An hour off the train and we're sitting on an island in the centre of the Dnipro River, alone on a litter-strewn patch of sand. There are reeds and rowing boats, construction cranes and football stadium floodlights. A middle-aged man sunbathes in the Russian-style, standing up in skimpy trunks. Music from a party boat pumps through the trees, and the golden domes of the Lavra sparkle in the sun. I lie on my back, shoes off, surrounded by plastic beer bottles and cardboard boxes, wet cellophane bags and discarded cigarette ends.