Four cities I want to come back to again and again. Four cities that have gained my heart, and I can tell excitedly about them again and again.
I don’t like beach vacation, I don’t like tourist attractions, and the first thing I do in a city after going out from an airport is just enjoy while walking along streets and submerging in a city life, sometimes turbulent and rich as in Hong-Kong and Istanbul and sometimes settled and calm as in Barcelona and Singapore.
Hong-Kong. This Asian diamond won over me at once and forever, charmed me with its convenience, comfort and a very small size. When staying in this glorious city, get a lungful of its air. The city smells unusual. It’s a mixture of Chinese food, expensive perfumes and ocean breeze. This smell makes you dizzy and do something unthinkable.
You are never sleepy in Hong-Kong. There are so many various interesting places and people here, that the very first day your head is just about to explode. Food, cityscapes and communication – all this is mixed up producing fireworks of emotions and making your body quiver with excitement.
There are so many interesting restaurants with tasty food here that it seems the life isn’t long enough to visit them all. It’s nice to eat in Hong-Kong. To eat a lot of tasty food, both local and foreign. All cuisines are represented here.
Hong-Kong is a city of contrasts. Here one might witness a long queue to Heremes, and at the same time one can buy replica of the same handbag just around the corner in a small Chinese shop in the same building. Vivid life and huge crowds of people in the streets are combined here with splendid mountains with concrete paths for hiking, so if you get tired of busy urban life, you can always go to the mountains to enjoy beautiful scenery and fresh air.
Hong-Kong is my favourite city, and I’ll never get tired of coming back here.
Barcelona. This is the most tasty Spanish city. For me as for food-photographer Spanish love to food is very appealing. There are so many Michelin-starred restaurants here that everything that is left is to go form one restaurant to another, enjoying food and making kind of a belly feast.
But apart from this, street food is extremely tasty here as well. It will just suffice to mention breakfast made of fresh fish with vegetables grilled right here and now in your presence at famous La Boqueria Market. Or a huge plate of seafood, served by a smiling Catalan, who will wish you bon apetit for about 300 times.
An old part of Barcelona – the Gothic Quarter – is magnificent. The mobile connection fails in narrow streets, where you can touch walls of two opposite houses if you stretch your arms. One can walk here, imagining the Middle Ages and romantic life of those times. But as soon as you come out to the sea, you get to a completely different world, the world of palm trees and green parrots, the world where people take their time to straddle along the beautiful quay and drink tasty Spanish wine in small restaurants facing the sea.
Barcelona is a city of romance. It is so saturated with romance, that people even say this beautiful city beats Paris. And this is true. It is worth wandering along narrow streets at 7 o’clock in the morning, enjoying graffiti on roller shutters of still closed shops, to have breakfast at the market and to go for a walk along the quay. To have lunch in a tapas-bar, stuffing yourself with tasty Spanish snacks. And at night you can visit one of numerous restaurants and to walk along the main street of the city.
Istanbul makes me confused. I open it more and more with every single day. As I was irritated with this city on the first day I saw it, so I was reluctant to leave it, and I had to miss my plane to have an advantageous exchange of my ticket for another date.
With my every new visit, Istanbul wins more and more over me. This is a city, where Asia and Europe combine with each other, a city smelling with roasted chestnuts and where everything is aimed at commerce. People have their business here at each corner. In Istanbul, Asian hospitality combines with European enterprising producing the blend, which is hard to forget.
This is a city-chaos with permanent traffic jams and bad logistics of public transport, a city where it’s easy to get lost, but you’ll be glad about this in the long run, opening something new and unique in this Asian pearl.
I like Istanbul, I like it for its never-ending surprises, for tasty food and those people I meet during my every visit. And if I have an opportunity to plan my trip so that I can fly transiting Istanbul and to stay there for a while, this is exactly what I do. It’s worth it.
Singapore. Don’t trust those people, who say Singapore is sparkly clean, that they fine here everyone for everything. This is not true. It’s cleaner here than in other cities, but not sparkly. There are warning signs about fines everywhere, but I saw police only once.
Singapore is a city of sex. It smells like sex, and you want to have it everywhere. People are very beautiful here. Blend of three Asian nations and colonial heritage gave such a spicy result that sometimes you find yourself simply admiring Singapore girls, as if you were in a museum, their beautiful faces and, considering extremely hot weather, their delicate figures, scarcely covered by clothes.
It’s a pleasure to walk in this city. There’re not so many people outdoors. All tourists hide from heat in their hotels or have fun in tourist places scattered around the city. That’s why walking is splendid here and brings lots of enjoyment. As for the heat, the solution is simple. A half-hour walk and then you have just to hide in one of numerous coffeehouses, where you can have a tasty lunch or just a cup of coffee. After this, you are ready to continue your walk.
At night, Singapore is different. It is covered with lights and becomes a fairy tale. Skilfully illuminated paths and fanciful illumination of streets changes the city in a remarkable way. To lie under gigantic artificial trees in Marina Sans, enjoying fantastic music, or to stroll barefoot hand in hand along narrow park alleys, listening to night birds or to sit on a bench in half-darkness, when there’s not a sole nearby… Singapore is a city of sex. Everything smells like it here…