Russians have another name for their second city: simply ‘Piter’. This word best captures St. Petersburg’s mix of beauty and commotion, history and innovation. Here’s how to experience Piter in a couple of days. … More Two days in St. Petersburg, Russia – for Lonely Planet
Spanning 800 square kilometres in the expanses of Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains, Rila National Park is the Balkans’ top destination for snow sports and outdoor adventures. It is also a conservation reserve for some of Europe’s rarest wildlife. Thanks to the park’s efforts to keep Rila’s spectacular nature clean and sustainable, these two worlds can exist next to each other. … More Rila National Park, Bulgaria – for Lonely Planet
“A lovely ancient town in the lowlands between the Balkan and Rhodope mountains, Plovdiv is the perfect place to recharge for a couple of days if you are coming to Bulgaria for an adventure. And with a serious food and drink scene, and numerous historical and cultural sites to explore, it’s a great choice for a southern European city break in its own right. Until recently Plovdiv was almost unknown outside of Bulgaria, but received a tourism boost following its stint as European Capital of Culture in 2019. It’s taken over 6000 years, but Europe’s oldest city is finally trending”. … More How to spend a perfect weekend in Plovdiv, Bulgaria – for Lonely Planet
On the steppe of eastern Kazakhstan, close to the Tien Shan mountains that straddle the border with China and Kyrgyzstan, is the beautiful Kolsai lake.
From ‘Bessarabka’, walk up one of the steep vulytsi (streets) that lead to the highest part of the city, and choose a cafe for brunch near the 11th Century Zoloti Vorota (Golden Gates). Eat some varenyki – Ukrainian dumplings that are made with both sweet and savoury fillings. Near to Zoloti Vorota is the gorgeous St. Sophia’s cathedral. Climb to the top of the bell tower for a first panoramic view of Kiev: the exquisite and colourful buildings of Sofiyska Square and St. Michael’s monastery below, and on the horizon, the districts of the left bank of the River Dnieper. … More How to spend a perfect weekend in Kyiv, Ukraine – for Lonely Planet
Kazakh nomads say that shubat and kumys lower blood pressure, and swear that they cure all sorts of illnesses and diseases. They are popular throughout Central Asia: on my first trip to Kazakhstan I tried a little bottle of supermarket-brand shubat. But the milks from the bazaar, in recycled plastic bottles, came straight from someone’s herd of camels and horses, somewhere on the steppe outside Almaty. … More Drinking camel’s milk (shubat) and horse’s milk (kumys) in Almaty, Kazakhstan