Алексей Скачков (FCE). III Место в конкурсе эссе
The holiday trip I will never forget! (эссе, 2010)
I’m going to tell you about the best place I’ve ever been, it’s Karelia. Yes! You are absolutely right! It’s in the northern part of Russia not far from the Finnish state border. And of course it’s one of the most exciting and indescribable places, but I’ll try to describe it.
It was in the middle of summer when I got a route sheet from university. Actually it cost peanuts for me because of 90 percent discount, so that fact made me incredibly happy. I knew it would be an unforgettable holiday. I packed my suitcase and arrived at the railway station where I realized that there were other fifty-three students who I went with! And I became even happier than before. It took two days to get there with one change of train in Moscow. My friends laughed openly about my trip!!! They told me all normal people were going to the south but I was travelling to the north!!!! Fortunately, they were wrong and I hope you’ll understand why.
Karelia has more than ten thousand rivers and lakes on its territory!!! This is the kingdom of waterfalls and coniferous forests!!! This is the best place for hiking and rafting!!! And this is the motherland of Karelian birch!!! I know you want to ask me what we were doing there. Besides excursions to the local museums we had visited Kizhi, Valaam and had a two-day rafting trip. I’ll try to describe them in details. Kizhi is an island somewhere in the Onezhskoe Lake. It’s a non-smoking area because there are two wooden churches which were made without nails and many other historical sites like windmill, forge, merchant houses and other buildings. When you are there you feel as if boyar in the past who is exploring his territory. Valaam is another island but in the Ladozhskoe Lake. There you can find an old monastery which is famous for its gardens. When monks first arrived at this island they realized that there wasn’t enough humus to grow vegetables and garden trees so they had to bring it by boat from the neighboring islands. Both of them are very interesting places which I strongly recommend you to visit at least once in your life.
And now rafting! It was the most memorable part of our holiday. We arrived at the River Shuya bank in the morning. Have you ever seen the red water? You may not believe me but it’s true! And I don’t know why. =) Our instructors separated us into five rafts, gave us necessary instructions and we started sailing. It’s a plain river but there are many rapids on it, the highest we met was about 1 metre high. In the evening we moored somewhere and spent all night in the forest with BBQ, guitar, fire and positive mood. The next day was quite relaxing. We weren’t in a hurry so we tied our rafts with each other in order to make a big float in the middle of the river and went swimming, laughing and singing songs by the guitar. This was the last day of our holiday. All these ten days we had sunny weather. Our instructors told us that we had brought it with us because the weather was usually rainy there. So we arrived home tanned and impressed. Come to think of it! All fifty-four shouted in chorus that this was the most amazing trip which we’d ever had.
The local people told us that if you visited Karelia once you would never forget it and this place would become the only place for your holidays!!! I must admit, I absolutely agree with them. This is the place I will never forget!