"Places of Power," where one day I will go again!

A journey that is sure to be repeated! My "places of strength" where I will go again one day!

Probably every traveler has that experience that clearly separates the trip into before and after, into "yes, it was interesting, but probably not here again" or "what was that? must definitely go back again!". Speech today will go about my personal experience and those travels that have scorched so much that mentally returning to these places, you understand - it is in you forever and fresh so that it seems was yesterday. In a good mentality I envy those who never was in these places, but probably going to. I feel pity to those who have not liked these places: may be it is still worth to repeat at the right moment and "catch a wave"? So I will indicate the season when I think it is best to visit these countries and regions in question. My priorities in trips: culture, history, food, nature.

No ranking, of course. These places are identical for me, I would go to any of them again without thinking, so it's more chaotic than prioritized.


St Petersburg, Russia

Best time: May/early June

Hello St. Petersburg, so dear and so far away: the smell of smelt of cucumber, floods on the Neva and here you are on the Palace Bridge watching this traffic and later from memories and they are White Nights, the draw of the bridges and the majestic, half-empty center in the morning. One silly man said that "in Petersburg you must drink", but in fact in Petersburg you must go for a walk during the White Nights, when the air is as clear as possible, when everything freezes for a few hours, when you can very clearly understand why the great minds of Russia loved this city.

In St. Petersburg you must go to the theatre. Of course it is necessary to see the sights of world scale, there is no sense to enumerate them all, there are a lot of them. Everyone should have their own St. Petersburg: I was lucky to come here many times over the years, and it was the city of Pushkin, Peter I and Catherine the Great, Victor Tsoi and Nautilus Pompilius, the city of Akhmatova, Brodsky, Dostoyevsky, and so on down the list. Make a wish what it should be for you and go for a walk on the White Nights and of course, watch the draw of the bridges.

Paris, France

Best time: early autumn (not summer yet, but not fall yet)

My first and clearest recollection of Paris and conversations about it comes down to the phrase of an acquaintance who once visited the city: "There's nothing to do there, it's very dirty and there are a lot of immigrants". At that time, I had seen Paris only in pictures; therefore, this statement upset me, of course.

How good that my Paris happened to be quite different: it was bright, evocative, melancholic, and beautiful in that state. Of course there were endless walks, my feet literally burning in the evening! In this city I understood that it is not important in what direction to move, the main thing is to move and necessarily in the walk you will come across any building, a monument, a sight of a really world scale.

Here it is the Louvre, the Place Vendôme, the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe and the bridge under which Princess Diana was killed ... And, of course, everywhere in the center is the Eiffel Tower: if standing as a monument, then sparkling in the evening a lot of lights, just as a holiday, which takes place here and now, the holiday, which is always with you.

And what about the French? Can't understand a word on a restaurant menu and they don't speak English to you? Here's a tip from me - learn a few phrases in French, such as: "Hello! How are you? I don't speak French, can you help me?" and believe me, you'll get a smile and help, even if they really don't speak English. This is a nation that prides itself on being French and this pride is often confused with snobbery. It is not. Respectful attitude and friendliness towards those around me, has never let me down yet and not just in France! One thing I can say about the food is that it's simply a work of art made of products. You may not like onion soup, but croissants, cheeses, foie gras, oysters - it's about France, you can't help but love it!

I recently shared my thoughts with my friend that soon I will have Paris, and I heard in response: "Well, what about Paris? It's filthy and full of immigrants!". At this point I just smiled wistfully.

The island of Santorini, Greece

Best time: summer months (it will be hot)

None of the islands I've been lucky enough to visit before and since can be compared to Santorini. Probably (though without "probably"), it's safe to categorize the island itself as the "Wonder of the World". The main color scheme of houses on the island - boiling white and piercing blue, so it is impossible to look without sunglasses without tears!

Wherever you are on the island, in any town, be it Iya or Fira, you can be sure that the view of the Aegean Sea is breathtaking The panoramic views over the town, the little streets and the outdoor terraces of the cafes, almost hovering above the sea, are literally everything here. Coffee break here can last long and turn into lunch with obligatory Greek salad, then smoothly into dinner with traditional eggplant moussaka, and then incredible sunsets with lounge music paired with Metaxa. Of course Santorini is all about love, or should I say honeymoon, which many newlyweds try to spend here. And not in vain: a loved one, great food, amazing views, the sea-what more could one want for their honeymoon?

I have not really gone into the history of the island, I know the basic facts no more, I remember distinctly the white-white and rather majestic Catholic Cathedral, but Santorini is not about that at all! Santorini is not the luxury of palaces, cathedrals, streets, here is a rather ascetic design in decoration, very simple, but perhaps that is its unique Greek coziness. Santorini is all about the honeymoon, or parties till morning in clubs and bars under the open sky! Don't overdo it with the Metaxa! :)

Rome, Italy

Best time: April-May (comfortable climate)

I've never seen so many good-looking and tastefully dressed people. Nice and neat is not about expensive clothes, this is about how Italians know how to combine accessories and "walk" both themselves and things, showing themselves off with dignity to others! After a trip to Rome, I almost unmistakably learned to identify Italians from the crowd, wherever I am. And, of course, their gesticulation and emotion - you certainly can't play it!

Rome is an endless story, a story about everything: about life, about feelings, about different epochs, it's a layering of layers of culture, again, these endless walks "wherever you can see". Rome is truly "the eternal city", there is no concept of in what time, in what epoch you found yourself. Full feeling of a grain of sand in time and eras. Don't try to learn all of Rome's history in one trip, and certainly not all of Italy; it just seemed impossible to me at some point, and I gave up the idea. The most true thing is to choose the area and the part of history that interests you the most, it's enough to get your bearings in the city.

What surprised you the most? At one point I noticed that I don't see any fast-food chain restaurants and chain cafes-they seem to be there, but so inconspicuous and sparse that you could say they aren't there! Italians are insanely proud of their food, and the attitude to cooking is almost sacred, and at the same time the food is very simple but incredibly diverse! And the taste? Is it possible to forget these pizzas, pastas, ravioli, lasagne, desserts? And of course, the wine. Wine is cheaper than Cola? Yes, this is Italy!

Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon, Mui Ne Vietnam

Best time: Winter months

My first impression is that the Vietnamese are not at all spoiled by tourists and the attitude towards white people seemed even too reverent compared to the hospitality in other Asian countries. Over time, I realized that this is probably part of their internal culture and attitude towards people, life.

Ho Chi Minh City itself looks like a little anthill, but it is more likely because the Vietnamese are always doing something, I don't remember seeing any locals just relaxing. The town looks like an old chest - there are traces of when Vietnam was a French colony, and an incredible amount of red flags, so obviously resembling the Komsomol organization, and of course everywhere portraits of Chief Ho Chi Minh.

And of course the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels (Kuti or Kuchi, everyone has a different name for it), the mazes where the guerrillas were hiding during the Vietnam War. The place is depressing, of course, there is nothing particularly fun to see, but to visit such places is interesting, an excursion into the history I think gives a better understanding of the locals, their traditions, values and principles of life. Americans still come here and feel a sense of shame and remorse for what they have done. The portrayal of an elderly American weeping during a tour, he was a Vietnam War veteran, and those tears of regret are still fresh in my mind.

Ho Chi Minh City is, of course, the food, seafood and endless massages, the prices of which were quite inexpensive. I don't remember there being particularly pushy salesmen at all. And then there was a bungalow in Mui Ne with its own pool, and it cost some quite reasonable money too. And of course the beach and the beach staff who diligently mopped up your footprints in the sand after each hike to and from the sea, all this was unobtrusive and the attitude was just like work.

At parting at the airport our guide, who accompanied us almost every day, gave me origami out of a banknote in the shape of a ship. It seems to be a trifle, but here is a complete picture of Vietnam from such trifles and formed a desire to come here again.

Author of the article:
Dmitry Lebedev, expert at onlineexpo



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