Надіслали мені цей чудовий список семи чудес України — англійською мовою. Немає часу перекладати. Думаю, хто цікавиться, зрозуміє.
Seven Wonders of Ukraine
If you've done Crimea to death, partied in Odessa, hiked the Carpathians into submission and gold-domed your way round Chernihiv, and now you think you have seen it all in Ukraine..well, you're wrong! This country offers many less well-known tourist destinations, and here are seven of the best to whet your appetites with:
Part 1 — The Great Dnister Canyon
Location: the border of Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast (Sambor town).
The Dnister Canyon is one of Europe's largest canyons with a depth of 100 to 250 metres and a length of 250 km. Lined along the riverbed of the Dnister River in south-western Ukraine, it emerged as a result of a rockslide from within the Podilski heights at the border of Ternopilska and Ivano-Frankivska Oblast. It is mostly green-covered steep slopes alternating with rocky, abrupt cliffs and ravines. Waterfalls surround the riverbed, the former cave cells of hermit monks dug out of the shale riverbanks, tumbledown castles and other sites of interest.
Part 2 — Kinburn Spit
Location: Mykolaiv Oblast, near Petrovska village (train, bus or car to Ochakiv).
This is the 4-kilometer long narrow peninsula of virgin sand steppes and boundless beaches, a unique UNESCO-registered reserve of wilderness with flocks of up to a million waterfowl, a virtual "drugstore in the open" with medicinal herbs and other flora and fauna. "Kinburn" derived from the Turkish word for "hair" and "a cape", implying the narrow strip of land along with the famous trade route "From Varagians to the Greeks" passed at the outset of the 1st millennium.
During the days of Herodotus it is said to be a home for the legendary Scythian Amazon women warriors. This place located opposite the town of Ochakiv where the Dnipro flows into the Black sea, the spit with its 300 salt and fresh water lakes was long the main destination of Ukrainian salt merchants, famous "chumaks" travelling by ox along the so-called "Chumatsky Shlyakh".
Today the land is no less miraculous with peacocks occasionally found sitting in the trees in the nearby villages of the deserted and thinly populated spit. Storks, white swans and many rare birds favour the spit as a stop-off along their migratory routes. The spit has also seen 500 couples of pink peacocks out of a total 10,000 in the world reintroduced after a 50-year break, when there was not a single pink peacock to be found in Ukraine for half a century! Curative mud baths, areas for eco-camping and tourist trails interfere little with the overwhelming wilderness.
Part 3 — Optymistychna Cave
Location: Ternopilska Oblast, Korolivka village for Optymistychna, Kryvchi village for Kryshtaleva
Europe's longest cave, globally it is second only to the Flint-Mamontov cave in the USA. 60-80 metres in depth, with 212 km of labyrinths. Its numerous branches are between 4 and 7 stories high with some boasting 200-metre-long subterranean halls with vaults of multicoloured crystal sculptures and monuments. It is the least visited tourist spot in Ukraine with an absolutely virgin 20-million year old cave. There are no visible marks above ground, you can only enter with help of some locals.
Part 4 — Ancient Stone Tombs and Monuments
Location: Zaporizska oblast, Volodarsky rayon, near Rozovka village. There is a train going to Donetsk to Volnovakhi Station, bus/electric train to Rozovka Station, taxi to the stone tombs at 10-15 hrv.
This is a kind of Ukrainian Stonehenge, as these Stone Tombs are at the same time a two-billion-year-old natural monument and a 4,500-year-old manmade monument. Giant multi-toned stone blocks ominously tower up to the heights of more than a 100 metres in the midst of virgin steppes actually from the bottom of the ancient Samarthian Sea, where mountains used to reach up to 3 thousand metres in height. Awe-struck, primeval tribes worshipped the place and attached a sacred meaning to it, while practising mystic religious ceremonies, they engraved stone shapes with sophisticated petroglyphs dating to the times of the Egyptian pyramids. Many of these tables still remain untranslated. Some three thousand stone monuments in a compact area of three hectares are at the centre of this unique reserve and some of the plants and minerals found here are not found anywhere else in the world. During the spring and summer months, this rocky place is covered by a blossoming fragrant carpet of steppe flowers. This place also witnessed the famous Kalka Battle where Slavic Knights were defeated by the Mongol Tatars, as the legend has it, when the Tatars crushed their enemies by placing them in a wooden construction underneath the tables at which they feasted their victory.
Part 5 — The Mountainous Synevir Lake
Location: Zakarpatska oblast, Mizhjirsky Rayon
One of Europe's largest mountainous lakes, it is located at an altitude of almost one thousand metres above sea level and covers an area of seven hectares nestled deep in the Carpathians. Tranquil and deep with an average depth between 8-18 metres, the lake is of unsurpassed beauty with many rare animals and flowers inhabiting the mountainous wilderness. Trot, stoat, salamander and triton and many other rare Carpathian dwellers require a special "silence regime" declared once a year for visitors. The lake is poetically named the "Sea Eye", as from above it reminds one of the shape of a giant eye with its pupil — an island in the middle. Besides, according to the popular folk legend, the lake emerges from the tears of a beautiful girl called Syn who shed tears over her sweetheart, called Vir. The lake "Synevir", glorifies their love. Wooden churches constructed without a single nail and Hutsel-style architecture near the lake adds to the magnificence of this spot! Walking, biking and horseback riding trails are available.
Part 6 — Sevastopol Catacombs
Location: Sevastopol area
Sevastopol boats an underground "double" comprised of a complex of tunnels and chambers just over 350,000 square metres in size that were built during the course of the last 200 years. Over 60 subterranean command posts, automatic telephone stations, over one hundred fortifications and casemates, over 200 military dugouts and shelters can all be enjoyed! Subterranean bases for submarines, secret vessels from the Black Sea Fleet and many other military pearls from the eras of both the Soviets and Catherine the Great can be visited at this extreme underground military catacomb.
Part 7 — Ukraine's Medieval Castles
Location: 72 km east of Lviv along the highway to Kiev
During the course of its history Ukraine has boasted some 3,000 medieval fortresses and castles, but only 116 of them have been preserved, with more than half half-ruined. Only several preserved castles have been restored recently as sightseeing highlights, while the rest remain the reserve of "wild tourism". Rarely can one find a flawless imposing structure dotting the landscape wild and unattended. Oleksy Castle, one that makes up the "Zolota Pidkova" tourist route is the most well-preserved and tourist-friendly castle some 72 km east of Lviv. Dating from the 13th century or earlier, it was founded by descendants of the famous prince Danylo Halytsky, and for a long while housed Polish kings and nobility. Its unique scenery made it the spot for the three musketeer films, while today it houses an art gallery