Dnipro, Ukraine

DnepropetrovskDnepropetrovsk, that recently changed its name in 'Dnipro', is the third largest city in Ukraine and located in the east of the country. 

Although not a city one falls instantly in love with, it has something inexplicably appealing. One can sense the laidback atmosphere when strolling along the broad river Dnepr, with lots of street entertainment and loving couples and on warm summer evenings it even feels a bit Mediterranean. Ancient creaky trams and trolleybuses still do there work, while they actually should be retiring in a museum. Industry and the inevitable pollution and other ugliness can be seen in the very city centre and on rainy days you have to do your best to keep your head upright and not sink in a depressive mood and to buy some cheap narcotic liquids in the nearest supermarket to get away from it.

Apart from the contests, I cannot think of a reason why a regular tourist should visit Dnipro. But for an adventurous soul who likes to go to odd places, it might be worth a try, for instance as a short stopover during a train journey from Kiev to Odessa. English is not widely spoken, but they are eager to learn. So to make a long story short, as long as the weather is good, it's not a bad place at all for visiting a long hair contest.

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