In the middle of summer the fuss and rush of the metropolis become truly intolerable! One can dream of nothing else than to leave troubles behind and run up hill and down dale away from stone jungles towards crystal fresh air, green grass and new unbelievable impressions. Askania Nova is a perfect choice! Such a hidden kingdom of an untouched steppe can`t be found anywhere else in the world. Imagine - giant pyramidal oaks rising high, magnificent herbs smell sweet, wonderful birds soar up in the stridently blue sky and antelopes frisk on boundless landscapes – here is the true Ukrainian savanna!
Ukraine is the owner of a genuine treasure. The unique steppe reserve Askania Nova was founded in 1883 by the German, Baron Friedrich Falz-Fein who managed not only to preserve the primordial form of the famous Ukrainian steppe, but also enrich it with numerous kinds of flora and fauna. Askania Nova Park (200 hectares) is a unique monument of landscape architecture. Arriving, one grows blind from the abundance of diverse colors: emerald green grass, golden feather grass, flower scatterings, the serpentine of channels and cascades of ponds! There are hundreds, even thousands of birds! Nowhere else in Europe will one find a greater variety of our trusty feathery friends! The four-footed inhabitants feel perfectly free here! Every now and then rabbits run across the park paths and squirrels skip round people in a businesslike manner persistently asking for food. Askania Nova Zoo deserves to be mentioned separately for being authentic in its own way. Certainly, animals have both open-air refuges and small winter houses (as it`s not the real Africa!). Nevertheless you won`t find a single cage here as numerous herds of hoofed mammals live in the wild and graze quietly on wide pastures.
It is possible to see aurochs and bisons, koulans and guanaco, antelopes and Przhevalsky`s horses, markhoors and African buffalos. And also there are charming Shetland ponies – noble racers of a restive character and… a Doberman terrier height. It is necessary to make a trip to Askania Nova to caress the fluffy manes of these toy horses.
So, visiting Askania Nova, do not forget your photo and video cameras! Otherwise there’s a chance that nobody will believe your stories about local natural wonders! And surely buy some seeds or saplings of unique plants to recreate a piece of the reserved fairy tale at home!
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