As the cradle of Slavic civilization for the past 1,500 years, Kiev might be expected to be a stodgy old grandfather of a city, but Ukraine’s capital refuses to act its age. Even on a weekday, the heart of the city, Independence Square, ripples with rock music as drunken teenagers stagger between monolithic Soviet buildings and vendors do a brisk business selling “Orange Revolution” T-shirts.
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Canada’s Gulf Islands are a remarkably accessible antidote to urban stress. Sandwiched between Vancouver Island and the west coast of mainland British Columbia, they’re part of an extensive cluster of islands that are bisected by the U.S.-Canada border. The Gulf Islands, north of the border, belong to Canada, while the San Juan Islands, south of the border, belong to the United States.