The island of Finnish socialists and itchy killer whales

26/12/2023
Malcolm Island is a small island in the north of Vancouver Island, where you need to get two ferries and drive a little more than 400 km. I probably would never have found out about its existence if my wife hadn’t been making fun of it on social networks.

Saudi Arabia

26/12/2023
Saudi Arabia today and Saudi Arabia three years ago are different countries. Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who came to power, decided that it was time to change and carried out a bunch of reforms. It used to be very difficult to get a visa here, but today it's as easy as shelling pears - you pay a fee and in a couple of minutes you get an e-visa via the Internet.

Bergamo is the city above

26/12/2023
The city of Bergamo is located in the north of Italy, in the foothills of the Alps, 40 km northeast of Milan. The city is average by Italian standards - 120 thousand inhabitants. It has an interesting topographic feature - it is clearly divided into two parts: the Upper (Citta Alta) and the Lower City (Citta Bassa). The lower part is larger and more modern. But the historical center with the main attractions is located at the top, on a high hill surrounded by fortress walls of the 16th century.

New Orleans

26/12/2023
I first became fascinated with New Orleans when I watched James Bond's Live And Let Die (1973) as a child. Then there was the film Angel Heart (1987) and the game Gabriel Knight. I decided that I would definitely find myself here someday. I was attracted by the stormy mishmash of cultures and the atmosphere of an eternal holiday. And I must say that New Orleans did not disappoint me, even though it was half-empty, half-closed, and it was not possible to fully experience the atmosphere of this place.

Okanagan Lake Valley

26/12/2023
Mid-spring 2021, the eighteenth wave of coronavirus and the associated severe restrictions on travel in the province with roadblocks and the cancellation of ferries (this was not even in 2020) found us in the Northern Okanagan - having traveled pretty much the south of the valley, I suddenly realized that I had a very vague idea about her north. And here, for a minute, is the town of Vernon, which has been repeatedly named one of the most desirable places to live in retirement in Canada.

Indian island Cormorant

26/12/2023
A few miles off the western coast of mainland Canada, on the north side of Vancouver Island is the small Cormorant Island, where Native American culture is still alive and well. True, no one calls him that - everyone calls him by the name of his only settlement, which occupies almost the entire area - Alert Bay.

Mexico City - the city of the eagle and the cactus

26/12/2023
The capital of Mexico, Mexico City is one of the most populated in the world. Now about 9 million people live in it. within the legal boundaries of the city and over 21 million - within the urban agglomeration (9th place in the world). It was built on the site of the Aztec Tenochtitlan, which at one time was also one of the largest cities (up to 500 thousand inhabitants, it is believed). But little is left of those days. Modern Mexico City is a combination of Spanish colonial architecture, art deco style, glass skyscrapers and numerous poor neighborhoods on the outskirts.

Columbia Basin

26/12/2023
I remember the first time I saw the steeps of Columbia when we drove to Yellowstone avoiding the main highway - it was amazing! The coastal mountains familiar to us were replaced by fields, and suddenly out of nowhere steep cliffs with orderly rows of basalt pillars grew around something that, with a stretch, could be called a canyon several kilometers wide. A few minutes - and again there are only fields around. Then I said, “Wow, what was that?! We will definitely need to come back here!” However, around the same time in Wuhan, a Chinese man was going to the market to buy some rice and a couple of bats, and then you know.  

Day in Montreal

26/12/2023
I managed to visit only two Canadian cities in Montreal and Quebec. Located close to each other, they seemed completely different to me. If Quebec resembles a fallen asleep provincial French urban-type settlement, then Montreal is what you get, decide someone to connect New York with Paris, i.e. completely explosive mixture!

Winter in Anchorage

26/12/2023
In response to our enthusiasm, “Hurray, finally winter, snow and frost” some Alaskan old-timers shook their heads: they say you live here for more than three years, and then you will sing in a different way - short days, long nights, you leave to work darkly and returning home in the dark, bad roads, boring snow that needs to be constantly cleared, frost, gas and electricity bills, a disreputable house in which you spend almost all the time ... No, summer is better.

Why go to Bukovel without skis

26/12/2023
Quit smoking - get up on skis, says popular wisdom. And if you do not go to extremes, then we change the habit of “smoking” to the habit of “floating” and go to the ski slope in the off season. A budget for the purchase of skis, you can safely lower on the road: in Lviv or numerous Hutsul "kolybah."

Hong Kong. On the sunny side.

26/12/2023
Those who have not been to Hong Kong, as well as to me before this trip, this place seems to be a sort of megalopolis of some skyscrapers, with an incredible number of cars and people, entirely in advertising and smog. Naturally, such naive delusions are easy to dispel, one has only to unfold the map, where it is clear that urban areas occupy only a small part of Hong Kong, the rest is lush tropical greenery and numerous sandy beaches.

Australia is a magical land on the edge of the world

26/12/2023
So, a review of the last continent, where I visited, is distant and difficult to access for Russians in Australia. There is an opinion that this is a very expensive country, even in the “Eagle and Lattice”, each series about Australia begins with the moans leading to the fact that they have to live half-starving. In fact, it turned out that at the current exchange rate, Australia is a country of the middle price category, something like Spain or Greece. Given the presence of numerous low-cost flights there from Southeast Asia, we get a great place to travel (well, if not a visa).

Vicenza - love at first sight

26/12/2023
Now I know for sure - love at first sight exists! On a pleasant, clear day, glancing at Vicenza from Monte Berico, I was convinced of this. To get to Vicenza - the city in which more than two dozen buildings of Andrea Palladio survived, dreamed a long time ago, but thought that this would remain a cherished desire. But dreams, it turns out, come true!

Constantine. One, two, three ... viva l'Algerie ...

26/12/2023
In Constantine - the third largest city in Algeria after the capital and coastal Oran, I got on the eve of the football match Algeria - Belgium and the whole city was in anticipation of the holiday.