Ukraine has a fascinating history, which has seen it under the control of many different countries, and enjoying spells of independence. Since 1991, it has been independent of Russia, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union when the Cold War ended. There is still some dispute with Russia over areas of the Crimea, with both countries claiming ownership of the land. Either way, with communism a thing of the past, this is a country keen to strike out on its own. The main attraction for visitors to Ukraine are its Carpathian Mountains, where people enjoy outdoor pursuits like hiking, fishing, hunting and skiing, or simply foraging for mushrooms and berries like the locals do. Previously unknown to those of us in the west, Ukraine is actually a fantastic producer of wine, particularly in the southern regions of Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, Kherson, and Odessa Oblasts. Sparkling wine, known as “Soviet Champagne” is produced in Kiev and Bakhmut, and is worth trying.