Tag Archives: top100

Top-100 series: Russia.

Hi folks!

On we go with my journey around what are to me the 100 most beautiful places in the world, all of which I reckon need visiting at least once in a lifetime without fail – so as not to live the rest of that lifetime with regret!

Next up, the world’s largest country!

Russia’s East European Plain doesn’t have anything outstandingly must-see when it comes to natural beauty. Of course, there are beautiful places – and many of them, but none quite make their way onto my Top-100. Then, east of the Urals there’s the West Siberian Plain – a rather plain, er, plain, this time all tundra/taiga/steppe (from north to south, respectively), marshes, rivers, lakes, oil extraction and mosquitoes. Things only start getting Top-100-worthy still further east. But I’ll get to that in a bit. For now though…

39. Red Square and the Kremlin.

Many of our foreign friends who come to visit us here in Moscow tell us that Red Square – with St. Basil’s at one end, the Kremlin to one side and GUM on the other – is the most beautiful spot in Europe, especially at night when lit up. And who am I to argue? I too am a big fan.

Note: St. Petersburg was in the Cities section of the Top-100 series.

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info_ru_20 wiki_en map_ru_20 gmaps Photos google flickr

Read on: Shambala, Kondyor, Pillars …

Top-100 Series: Europe.

You’ll probably already know about a lot of the man-made wonders and beauties on this continent – the cradle of western civilization – for it does have them in spades. However, it also has plenty to see in the natural-historical-phenomena department too, some of which you may not be aware of. Until now!

Curiously, practically all European natural-historical marvels are situated on or by the coast or on islands. Deep into its territory there’s practically no ‘top’-worthy stuff. But that doesn’t matter, for Europe has plenty of both coastline and islands :-). All righty. Off we go!…

Europe.

28. Volcanic Iceland.

One of the most volcanically active places on the planet. Volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, plus the glaciers and harsh northern climate you’d expect from a country with the word ‘ice’ in its title. I was there just this summer. It was out of this world. Even gives Kamchatka a run for its money. Only saw a small part of it though. Must get back and explore the rest…

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info_ru_20 wiki_en map_ru_20 gmaps Photos google flickr

Read on: cliffs, islands, volcanoes, bays …

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Top-100 Series: North America, Part 2.

Hi folks,

In continuation of my revised and revamped Top-100 of the most remarkable, interesting, enchanting and beautiful places and countries of the world, here’s the next installment: part 2 of the very best – IMHO – places to visit in North America, i.e., the North American continent, which (of course?:) includes Central American countries and the Caribbean islands.

First, for starters, a few pics from this part of the world…

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North America, Part 2.

Top-100 Series: North America – Part 1.

Howdy folks!

I’ve started – so I’ll finish. In my lengthy prelude, I promised to lay before you my updated Top-100 Must-See Places in the World in several portions over several posts. You’ve already had my new – extra – Top-20 Cities. Next up is a set of Top-Non-City-Must-See-Places – actually 17 of them – out of the Top-100, all of which are in the first continent I’ll be tackling: North America. A quick guide to the most astonishingly amazing places therein – most of which I’ve been lucky enough to visit in person, and all of which contain a particularly high concentration of natural and/or man-made beauty and/or unusualness. In this post – the first 10 entries; in the next post – the remaining seven.

So why North America? Or, rather, why this particular continent first?

Well, it just seemed the natural place to start, as it’s – normally – up in the top left-hand corner of a world map. From there I’ll be taking you on a trip around the globe with the following route: down through Central America, and through South America. Next – across the Atlantic to Europe, across Russia to its far eastern reaches. Then it’s back west and down to the Middle East, across Central Asia to India and Indochina, then up to China itself with brief stops at other assorted Asian spots. Next: again back west to start another eastern movement: Africa > Australia and Oceania. And last but not least: Antarctica. That’s the basic outline of the route as I see it now, anyway. So, ready? // Phone off, popcorn microwaved, beverage prepared, soft armchair… off we go!…

Of course, if I lived in China or America the world map used in the above snakes and ladders across the globe might have looked a little lot different. Or, if I lived in Australia, it might have looked like this:

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Read on: Geographical authoritarianism…

My new Top-20: Cities.

Hi folks!

Following on from the prelude, herewith, my recently formed list of what are to me the world’s Top-20 cities. In this post I’ll briefly describe and present pics of my Top-20 most interesting and unique districts, quarters or whole cities of the world that I recommend everyone should visit one day. It should go without saying I’ve been to all 20 – most times often, unlike some of the must-sees in my main list.

But first – rewind: How are my Top-100 and now Top-20 made up?

First, by using my own eyes and senses. I’m lucky enough to have a job in which I globetrot for nearly six months out of every 12. The primary reason: business. But why not mix it with the pleasure of a tourist? Why not indeed.

Eugene Kaspersky's top-100 must see places of the world

Read on: Places, which hardly require anybody’s recommendation…

My Top-100 – Ver. 2015: Prelude.

Hi all!

Many of you have probably noticed that I get around this globe of ours rather often. More often than not this getting around is for business (meetings, conferences, speeches, etc.), but I normally try and fit in a bit of free time too so I can go and inspect this or that place of interest nearby. Sometimes this is a mere ‘see, take pics; sorted; next!‘. Other times it’s a matter of seriously studying some seriously amazing natural and/or historical phenomena.

As I’d look at all these wonders of the world, I’d often think to myself: ‘everyone should see these’. I’d then normally get to thinking ‘what else needs to be seen in this world?’ What are the most interesting and breathtaking places on the planet? And once upon a time (many years ago) I was handed a ‘Top-100 Most Beautiful Places in the World’, or something like that. Around the same time I also saw a TV program called the ‘Тop-20 Places to See Before You Die” (again, or something like that).

After viewing both, the first thought that struck me was, ‘these ain’t right’, and it occurred to me that the writers/program makers probably hadn’t really seen much of the world at all, let alone be qualified to write lists on the best places in it. So it was there and then when I decided to intervene directly and come up with my own list – ‘of the very best and most interesting places on the planet, which all need visiting one day – if you’ve the time and cash to spare’ (or something like that).

New ZealandNew Zealand

More…

Kamchatka-2012: Volcanism.

Day 15 (for the second group – day 1). Heading north.

If you ever happen to one day find yourself in Kamchatka, specifically in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, and you have a free day on which the weather is good and the wallet is sufficiently bulging, then it’s perfectly feasible to have yourself a fantastic day to remember. What you do is organize a helicopter excursion and head north – to Klyuchevskaya Sopka and back. Such a day-excursion comes highly recommended – a total mind… flip – is guaranteed!

As mentioned – you need to sort yourself a helicopter, which really should be ordered in advance. After having done so, you pray for fine weather on the day of your trip. It’s a good idea to take spare batteries with you for your cameras and similar kit, as you’ll find you use them pretty much non-stop.

I’ve been lucky enough to have been on numerous helicopter excursions all over the planet – but in terms of the sheer overload of impressions, Kamchatka leads by a mile.

En route we flew over several volcanoes (including an erupting one, but which by next season may die down), the hissing caldera of the Uzon volcano (with a touchdown and excursion), the Valley of the Geysers (touchdown & excursion), the Kluchevskaya group of volcanoes, and the Northern Fissure (where we walked along the peaks of red hills). Unforgettable!

// For those in need of more details re all the below-listed, click here, or search the net.

1. Karymsky, 1536m – a permanently active volcano:

Karymsky Volcano

More: An unforgettable day …

A Very Old City.

Jerusalem, the Living City, is older than almost all others that have survived to the present day, older even than Rome, and a couple of millennia older than some of the world’s oldest cities. Only a few others can boast of such a history… the likes of Jericho, Babylon and Yerevan, for instance. But it’s surely true to say that Jerusalem is the oldest among the “big ticket” world cities, and as such it’s one of those places you have to explore at least once in this life. And it’s not just a place for strolling the streets – it’s worth descending underground, since the caves are now open for visitors. I was there recently – these are old sewage tunnels which were discovered not so long ago, enmeshing the whole city like a web. They are more than 2,000 years old!

Jerusalem Tunnels

More: Exploring the history …

A Break Well Deserved – Mayan Style.

With three events (Security Analyst Summit, international press tour, and IT-security industry analysts’ conference) in Cancun over and done with (which completed the last leg of more than three weeks on the road at conferences, etc., etc., etc. all around the world), and the very last guests all having left, a little nostalgia was already setting in for the great times we had in the place… everything was just so very positive, interesting and fun – especially the evenings; extra-specially the Mexican Yucatan nights – yee-ha!

So let me tell you a little about the three ‘best bits’ – what you really must see in Yucatan if you ever get the chance to visit the place.

First – Chichen Itza (the Mayan pyramids); second – Cenote Ik-Kil (for swimming); and third – Rio Secreto (underground caves); not necessarily in that order. All must-visits!

A few pieces of advice: in Rio Secreto it’s better to leave your camera outside the cave – otherwise it’ll just get ruined down there from being submerged in water. But not to worry – every group of visitors to the caves is accompanied by a photographer who knows exactly how to keep his camera dry above water level. There are three different routes in Rio Secreto – all taking approximately 90 minutes to complete – at first by foot, then up to one’s knees in water, then swimming, then… just anyway, anyhow, as best you can :)

Indeed, a massive ‘big up’ to Rio Secreto . And I recommend buying one of the CDs with photos at the exit – the CDs contain great pics of both underground and surface scenes, plus ones of all the wildlife to be found in the caves.

For Chichen Itza you need to take camera equipment, bathing suit, plus towel – that’s about all you need for a great day’s chillage there.

It goes without saying that all the touristy spots are lined with densely packed stalls hawking the inevitable mass consumption tat. “Onnly van dullaar, senyor!”

The pics below show where the Mayas played their ancient version of basketball. Legend has it that one of the teams in the final after the game would be sacrificed for the gods. Which team wound up dead after the match – the winning or losing one – is not known: scholarly opinion is divided on this.

Swimming in Cenote Ik-Kil is one of the most magical swims in the world! The purest water, at the perfect temperature, at the bottom of a kind of deep sinkhole with long dangling plants hanging from high above. I really recommend it. One problem though is that it’s tricky taking good photos there – it’s quite dark below and very light above L.

That’s all folks! And now, for several days I’m going to be in full offline regime, somewhere here:

View from the plane

The rest of the photos are here.