(Rostov-na-Donu, Rostovskaya Oblast, Russia)

Alexey Kovalev takes a heads-up shot of the beautiful River Don at sunset.

Alexey Kovalev takes a heads-up shot of the beautiful River Don at sunset.

"That day, my friends were visiting. I had just started to organize my little photo workshop and I needed some help, so my friends came and brought beer. I live far away from everything, without sewer, Internet, or fashion magazines from overseas. We were cleaning, drinking, joking, smoking. Someone had the idea to go for a little sim in the River Don. I decided to take a camera. The place where we went is a secret place. Only those who were born in the area know about it. For that reason, you can often meet interesting people there and you always have something to chat about. One of the people there that day was named Dima. We talked a little and I decided to take a couple of shots of the memory. By that time, it was evening, dark enough so that the atmosphere passed on to the picture. I remember those days. They were full of magic."

-Alexey Kovalev

Go: Regular flights available via Moscow, St. Petersburg, Istanbul, Vienna, Dusseldorf, and Frankfurt.

Stay: The Pushkinskaya Hotel, a 19th century mansion a few blocks from banks of the Don. Room rates start at about $100/night.

Eat: Pelmeni, a traditional Russian dish similar to ravioli, and syrnicki, or quark cheese pancakes garnished with sour cream, jam, honey, or apple sauce.

Drink: Kvass, a fermented beverage made with wheat, rye, or barley, and sometimes flavored with fruit, berries, raisins, or birch sap collected in early springtime.