The southern capital inspires from the first minutes of acquaintance: first, a large modern airport with multimedia displays and fountains, then endless fields with yellow sunflowers. Sinking beyond the invisible horizon, the scarlet sun dances wildly between the frequent trees. The bus takes us across the six-lane Aksai bridge across the Batyushka Don to the famous Left Bank. And here it is, the first local feature - a high-water river overflowed and flooded the slopes to the water - weeping willows, of which there are a great many on the shore, fluffed up and lowered their young branches into the water that came. Local fishermen have settled down comfortably with fishing rods right next to the noisy track and, judging by their number, there is a fish here. Even just sitting here and admiring the sun glare trembling on the water is quite pleasant.
Important barges and speedboats are slowly passing by along the navigable Don - in general, all this does not remind us in any way that we are already in the territory of a city with a population of one million, which is one of the 30 largest cities in Europe. Basically, the whole of Rostov-on-Don is located on the right high bank of the river: in the central part, among the city roofs, the domes of the Cathedral in the name of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the wings of the goddess of Victory Nika gleam in gold on a 72-meter stele that stands on the central city square Theatrical. And in the sleeping areas, surrounded by new high-rise buildings, construction cranes smoothly drive in a circle - the city is actively growing upward. Of all the cities with a million-plus population, Rostov-on-Don is located on the smallest territory, only 348.5 sq. km. According to the calculations of local cartographers, you can walk the city from north to south in just 11 hours.
There is another attraction in Rostov, given to this city by nature, - an island between the right and left banks, which was named Zelenyi for its lush vegetation. There are myths and secrets about the island in the city, ufologists and esotericists are interested in its fate. Adding to the mystery to this place is the fact that the border between Europe and Asia runs along the channel of the river and along the Green Island, the administration even planned to put a border post here. Watchmen say there were years when, after a spring flood, fish could be caught with bare hands in dry puddles on Green Island.
Ponds also occupy most of the low, reedy left bank, so even professional fishermen in Rostov don't need to go far from the city - there are plenty of secluded corners, even down the river, even up - there are sandy beaches and quiet backwaters all around. The first restaurants and recreation centers appeared around the bend - this is the famous Levberdon, sung in the songs of Soviet performers - a city in a city, Rostov Las Vegas, which does not sleep day or night. Here, fun reigns everywhere: in coastal hotels with wide swimming pools, in restaurants with natural viewpoints, and in small cafes. Rostovites love to surprise their guests with national cuisine and do it with generosity typical of southerners. Almost every menu of any local establishment has the famous Cossack fish soup with tomatoes, carp baked with cabbage, chicken chicken with red caviar and, of course, Don crayfish. Even the air here smells quite differently - the sweet fragrant smell of flowering linden is interrupted by the appetizing smoke of meat fried on the grill. The best kebabs in Rostov are prepared either on the Leviy or in the Armenian village of Chaltyr, which stands at the entrance to the city from the Taganrog side. It would seem, why go further - here you can stay for the entire visit - try pure Cossack moonshine with vigorous Alexandrovskaya mustard and lightly salted cucumber or taste indigenous wines, but we go further - to the sports area.
By the 2018 World Cup, the territory of the old city beach has completely changed. Now Rostov-on-Don has a second embankment - near the newly built Voroshilovsky Bridge, which has acquired panoramic elevators, on the Left Bank there is a new recreation park with bike paths, playgrounds and noisy cafes. But the main highlight on this fabulous cake is, of course, the Rostov Arena stadium. Since the sports complex according to the project was located in the floodplain of the Don River, due to the bulk soil, the site for the construction was raised by 6 meters, they say that since the beginning of construction, more than 2 million tons of sand have been reclaimed here. Close up, the feeling of the building is incredible - this whopper with a capacity of 45,000 spectator seats, due to the stained glass facade made of glass and concrete, seems light and airy.
The structure itself is unique - due to the increase in the steepness of the stands in the stadium, even from the last rows, the faces of the players and their voices are clearly distinguishable, which allows the viewer to create a unique effect of presence. The natural turf of the football field began to be grown last summer. To strengthen the grass, the cover was stitched with twenty million artificial blades of polyethylene fiber. The outer wall of the stadium on an area of more than 19 thousand square meters. m. installed 54 thousand LEDs - on this huge media canvas, you can draw pictures and write various texts. The daily evening light show of the Rostov Arena can be seen from almost anywhere on the right bank. If you are in the southern capital for the first time, it will not be difficult for you to follow my route and independently evaluate the renewed Levberdon.