Packed and Ready: Anton Ravitsky
My first abroad trip was Prague (Czech Republic). Moreover, it was Prague on the eve of New Year Night, the city entirely turned into a "snow ball", a festive decoration. My excitement of fantastic wonderland was supported by mulled wine at Christmas fairs. Narrow cobbled streets of the Old City, modern-day beauty of contemporary-styled neighbourhoods, the magic light of New Year's garlands...
All this became the foundation of the family tradition: at the beginning of December we at least for a few days go to European countries in search of the holiday spirit: relaxed smiles and pleasant bustle in gift shops, warmth of hearth and festive mood. After I have already visited 12 countries, Czech Republic and Prague still occupy a special place in my heart.
Three "must see places"
Three cities that must be visited... It is like choosing your favourite child! Ok, probably Istanbul, Venice, Jerusalem. But, perhaps I have not been to places that will impress me more. For the time being, these cities have become a revelation and delight. They have breathe of history, they are a hymn to man, to human creative power, ability to leave a beautiful trace through the centuries.
Where would you never go again?
There is no such place yet. This is some kind of game: the city can hide itself from you, but if you try, it will certainly open its best side, a special charm. Then, everything will be perceived differently. So, there are cities with which "the game is not over yet".
My second home could be...
Poland, I guess. I love it and I feel very comfortable there. My Polish roots, knowledge of the language (albeit far from ideal), yet, are taking their toll. Mentality and culture are close to mine, I like the attitude of the Poles to business matters, their ability to work.
I highly recommend the beaches...
Here I am not an expert at all. I have not much been to the countries famous for beach recreation; it is not that attractive to me. I am not a fan of seaside sealerleisure. When my family and I went to Tenerife (the Canary Islands), three times we stepped on the beach. Other time we travelled around the island, climbed mountains, watched the sights.
In what country is the most unusual national cuisine?
You know, whether I adapt easily, or there were not any country on my way where the local cuisine would be extremely different from the Ukrainian one. Probably the most unusual for me was the Israeli cuisine. There were Odessa style dishes familiar to me from my childhood, however, the traditions of Middle Eastern culture are observed in culinary. All these spicy-sour sauces, marinades, pickles made the taste of Israeli food special. There they cook sweets according to a completely different technology.
Most of all I was surprised by mentality of the Germans.
It is true. I understand that it is convenient and practical, that this should be learned, but this staid, disciplined sequence in everything is amazing! It was unusual for me, as for a person who got used to our native organized chaos of life. There are cafes and restaurants that do not work from 3 p.m. till 6 p.m., because lunch was from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., and now all visitors are at work, and the institution is being cleaned for dinner. Are you a tourist who did not have your dinner in time? Look for the bistro! They have plenty of those systematizing life habits everywhere. Very unusual.
I dream to visit the countries of South America...
I want to look at the traces of ancient civilizations, get acquainted with the amazing nature, sample their cuisine. As a child, I read stories about Amazon researchers, so the romance of this continent beckons me. I hope that I will be able to get there and go back home safe and sound, without remaining in the tribe of bounty hunters as a dried talisman. Yet, my favourite childhood books described such options.