The Amazing Wonders of Great Britain and Ukraine
Wonder… What does this word mean? Perhaps, it`s something unusual or strange or even weird and also exciting. We know a lot about seven wonders of the ancient world. They are the Pharos, the lighthouse of Alexandria, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Tomb of Mausolus, the Temple of Diana. This list of the most impressive and beautiful man-made objects was made in the second century BC. Wonders of the modern world are not the same. Computers, space travel , medical science, agriculture, holidays, the Olympic Games are considered to be the wonders of the modern world. But to my mind, the greatest wonder of all is that we are still here, we are alive and we live on our planet Earth!
We can find different wonders in every country of the world. However, I propose you to speak about the seven wonders of Britain and find and discuss the eight wonders of our Motherland, Ukraine. So ,fifteen altogether. These are unique and wonderful places to speak about or to visit in order to feel the cultural value of Great Britain and Ukraine. Are you ready to start?!
The first double-decker buses appeared in London in 1851. They were invented to help to carry the thousands of people who visited the Great Exhibition that was held that year. The first double-decker buses were pulled by horses, and they didn`t have a roof. The first fully-covered bus appeared in 1925. Today there are three and a half thousand double-deckers in London alone. There are seven different types, and they can carry 89 passengers. Most large cities and towns in Britain have double-decker buses. They are also used in South Africa, Australia, the Netherlands, Singapore, Hong Kong and Berlin.
Public transportation in Kyiv includes the metro (underground), buses, trolleybuses, and trams. It is quite developed and you can easily get from one part of the city to another by just using the city transport. Kyiv metro system is without any doubt the fastest, most convenient and affordable way to get around nearly all the city.
The next most popular form of transportation is the many privately owned Microbuses (Marshrootkas). Their coverage includes smaller residential streets as well as routes and schedules that are convenient for all. Minibuses take fewer passengers, run faster, stop on demand and are more available.
Public electric trolleybuses, trams and buses in many cases have aged equipment and are under-funded. But recently new trolleybuses and buses started to appear on the streets of Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities and towns. More to it, there`s no better way to get to know this country and its people than to take a ride like the locals do.
It`s interesting to know that the first tram appeared in the streets of Lviv in 1880. Strong and well-fattened horses heaved up the carriages. The electric tram appeared 14 years later. The carriages at that time were of several types: the summer ones were opened, closed with the passenger compartment and passenger compartment pasted into two classes. The horse driven tram was working until 1909.
Taxi`s are located throughout the Ukrainian cities and can be found very easily. Compared to other European cities fares are quite cheap.
One unique mode of public transportation Kyiv has is the Funicular, which climbs up the steep right bank of the Dnipro River. It transports 10-15 thousand passengers daily and connects the centre with the Podil District. The length of the rail tracks is 193 metres. It was opened in May 1905. By the way, you can find the Funicular in Yalta (it`s very exciting too) and some other Ukrainian cities.
Stonehenge on Salisbury plain in Weltshire is one of the most mysterious prehistoric sites in Britain. The stone circle was built approximately four and a half thousand years ago, probably as a site for religious ceremonies. Stonehenge may also have been used as an astronomic observatory. Watching the sun and moon rise over certain stones would have shown the exact time of year. These stones weigh nearly 4 tones.
In the Carpathian Mountains Ukrainian archeologist found prehistoric sculptures made of rock.
Ukrainian scientists consider them to become the rival to the English Stonehenge.
Native archeologist in the end of 2008 year announced about the discovering of Ukrainian Stonehenge. Prehistoric stone sculptures were found near the village Snidavka in the Ivano-Frankovsk region. The most valuable find is 14 metres sculpture of a pregnant woman. It is considered to have no alternatives in the world. The other interesting find is a human face made of rock, there are about 10 sculptures there. Some specialists consider that sculptures were made by tripols, but others refer their origin to the far ancient civilizations. In their opinion, these sculptures are 5-6 thousand years old. Comparing to the British Stonehenge (4 thousand years old), Ukrainian find is pretty old.
The majestic St. Paul`s Cathedral was built by a famous English architect Sir Christopher Wren in memory of the Great Fire of London between 1675-1711. It is one of Europe`s largest cathedrals and its dome is only exceeded in size by that of the St. Peter`s Basilica in Rome. St. Paul`s Cathedral with its huge dome and rows of columns is considered to be a fine specimen of Renaissance architecture. This greatest of English churches has had an eventual history. Five different churches were built at this site. The first church, dedicated to the apostle Paul, dates back to 604 AD. In 962 and 1087 the Cathedral was destroyed by fires, but each time it was rebuilt. The Great Fire of London destroyed 4/5 of all of London, including St. Paul`s Cathedral. In 1669, three years after the fire Christopher Wren was appointed “Surveyor of Works”. The Cathedral was built in a relative short time span: its first stone was laid on June 21 1675 and the building was completed in 1911.
6 Pochaiv Monastery.
At this point I`d like to mention Pochaiv Monastery, the second largest Orthodox monastery of Ukraine after Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. The monastery is standing on the hill about 50 metres over Pochaiv city. The monastery was first time mentioned in written sources in 1527. But according to the local tradition it was founded in the 13th century by several monks who left Kyiv monastery during the Mongol invasion. The Legend says that the Theotokos appeared to the monks in the shape of a column of fire, leaving her footprint in the rock she stood upon. The rock and the footprint became revered by the local people for the curative properties of the water that issued from it. During the 16th century the monastery prospered, a stone cathedral was built. In 1597 the monastery expanded further through a gift of land by a noblewoman Anna Hoiska. She also gave the monastery a miracle working icon of the Theotokos, traditionally known as “Our Lady of Pochaiv”. This icon that helped to cure her brother from blindness had been given to Anna by a Bulgarian bishop who passed by. And this miracle working icon cures people nowadays. Isn`t it a wonder? A lot of events happened from those times to this century, but this saint and blessed land is visited by thousands of people every year. Finally, Pochaiv again entered the era of the revival of the Ukrainian Church!
The Spontaneous Beauty of British and Ukrainian Gardens.
7.The English Country Garden
The English Country Garden originated in Medieval Times. Then it was a place to grow herbs like parsley, sage and rosemary which were used to flavor food. Gradually other plants were introduced, especially flowers for decoration. English gardens today contain hundreds of varieties of flowers, fruit and vegetables. Many of these didn`t originally grow in Britain. Gardening has become one of the most popular British hobbies. If you are good at making things grow, then you are said to have green fingers.
Personally I definitely don`t have green fingers because even home plants do not want to live together with me, unfortunately. But I was deeply impressed by visiting the Nikitsky Botanic Garden for the first time.
Nikitsky Botanic Garden is one of the most prominent sights of the South Coast of the Crimea region. It is located close to Yalta, by the shores of the Black Sea. Here you can visit either Livavian cedar forest or Caucasian brushwood or bamboo forests of Vietnam. You`ve just seen the Italian landscapes and in some steps you are in the forest of Himalayas. You`ll hardly find the place on the earth where Asia unites with South America, and on the background of European flora emerges the Indian lilac. There are a lot of rare tropical plants, flowers. Great impression makes the gallery of cactuses especially in the period of flowering. The Botanic Garden was founded in autumn 1812 and named after the settlement. Nikitsky Botanic Garden is particularly rich in medical plants. It is not only a park garden but also scientific-academic statement of Ukraine. Its employees are working hard to give visitors knowledge about nature and scientific achievements of “Nikita”.
Sport and dances
Cricket is the national British sport. It is a game played of 11 players. The first known cricket rules were written in 1744 and the sport`s governing body, the Marylebone Cricket Club was formed in 1787. Cricket matches can last from an afternoon to 5 days for an international game, which is called a Test Match.
Ukrainians are also fond of sports, but we like dancing too. Traditional Ukrainian dance ‘Hopac’ originally was a dance for men only. Later it was performed by couples, male soloists and mixed groups of dancers. In the western Ukraine it was danced in a closed circle. The Cossack dance ‘Hopac’ originated from the Ukrainian word ‘hopaty’ (to jump). It is energetic, physically demanding, requires good acrobatic skills and energy. You are not able to sit still while watching the Ukrainian dance. Would you like to check?
Food and drinks.
11. A Milkman
After doing sports or dancing it`s necessary to eat well and to drink a glass of milk, for example. The typical British Milkman gets up at about 3 o`clock in the morning to start his daily round, delivering milk to the doorsteps of about 5 million hundred houses. 95 per cent British people think that having milk delivered by the milkman is a great tradition which should not be lost, but only 40 per cent actually buy their milk from the milkman!
Unfortunately, we don`t have such a wonderful profession as a milkman, but we`ve got our delicious national cuisine. Ukraine has always been famous for its cuisine and hospitality. Many dishes in Ukrainian cuisine are easy to prepare and yet they still have the high quality of tastes. Our modern national cuisine has inherited all the best courses from the traditional and versatile way of making many different kinds of dishes. Who is not familiar with Ukrainian borsch, pampushkas, galushky, varenyky, pelmeni, buckwheat soup, stuffed fish, salo, roast ham?!
Weather and Holidays
13. British weather.
A proverb says ‘When two Englishmen meet, their first talk is about weather’. It`s not a secret that British weather has a bad reputation. People are always complaining about it, and going abroad for holidays has become a popular way of avoiding it. In fact, the British climate is actually quite good. The winters are relatively mild, and the summers are not too hot. Many other places are much wetter. The problem is that the weather here is very changeable. This is because Britain is an island on the edge of Europe and might receive wet weather from the Atlantic, hot weather from Africa or cold weather from the Arctic.
14. Holidays in Ukraine.
Ukrainians say ‘There`s no bad weather, there is bad clothes’. Though Ukrainian people like travelling abroad, many of them travel around Ukraine too. We do not complain about weather and have a lot of places that are worth visiting. For example, the Crimea in summer (unfortunately this region does not belong to Ukraine completely nowadays, but time changes…) and the Carpathian Mountains in winter. So, the 14th wonder is ‘Holidays’. There are some meanings of this word, but ‘a holiday’ used to mean simply a day when you didn`t work. We usually begin to dream about the sea in September, though we`ve just returned from our trips to the seaside.
Crimea is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea and on the western coast of the Sea of Azov, bordering Kherson oblast from the North. Most of Crimea has a temperate continental climate, except for the south coast where it experiences a humid subtropical climate due to warm influences from the Black Sea. Because of its climate, the southern Crimean coast is a popular beach and sun resort for tourists. There are lots of places of interest, among them are Livadia Palace, Grand Canyon, Swallow`s Nest, Tauric Chersonesos, Vorontsov`s Palace, etc. Yalta is the center of the southern coast of Crimea. The city is known from year 1145. Yalta is a uniquely beautiful region around which you can find many coastal cities and towns – well-known resorts, such as Gurzuf, Alushta, Livadia, Miskhor, Foros, Simeiz.
Ski resort Bukovel received its name from the mountain, at the foot of which it is located, at an altitude of 920 metres above sea level. Ski complex Bukovel is unique in its natural and climatic zone. Mountains on all sides close it from cold winter winds, which creates favourable conditions for skiing. For a tourist, the first time chose a ski vacation in Bukovel, operates a highly qualified ski school. There is also a children`s playground – the best place for young ‘future skiers’.
We can speak a lot about wonders of these magnificent countries. But in conclusion, I`d like to mention the Ukrainian heavy transport airplane AN-225 ‘Mriya’, which has found its place on the pages of the Guinness book of records. The total number of records fixed by the plane make 240. For example, the speed of ‘Mriya’ on the Prague-Moscow route was 684.67 km/h, during the flight from Kyiv to Ulyanovsk – 662.67 km/h and the air distance from Kyiv to Tashkent was covered with the speed of 693.2 km/h. Earlier, ‘Mriya’ demonstrated the carrying capacity record by reaching the altitude of more than 2 km and lifting 253.82 tons of cargo. This heavy transport plane was designed and built within the period of 4 years, between 1984-1988. The project of the plane appeared because of the necessity to transport heavy cargo by air and to cover long distances. Besides, ‘Mriya’ was designed to launch the space shuttles to the orbit.
So, if you decide to visit Ukraine, use the fastest way – travelling by plane. You can`t fly by ‘Mriya’, but you can easily choose one of the passenger planes. Welcome to Ukraine!
Wonders are around us. Don`t forget to pay attention to them! Don`t waste your life staying at the same place, travel around the world as much as possible, and your life will be full of wonders!!!
by Yana Mysnyk