Around 35 years ago, Mr Gabriel Polyakov married a beautiful girl from his community in Vilnius, Lithuania. Gab as he is fondly called and Valentyna courted for more than 3 years after they met in a concert in one of the operas in the city. They were blessed with 3 children. Sofia is the first child and the only daughter. The second is Max Polyakov who is the first son, plus his younger brother named Dmitri. Gabriel works in one of the government agencies in the city, while the wife worked as a chef in a nearby hotel. Because of the nature of Gab’s job, he never missed the yearly summer vacations. He is actually in love with sightseeing and tourism. He is entitled to a paid vacation or leave of at least 30 days every day. So, he never fails to pick out one very good country to enjoy the vacation with his family.
This is because Vilnius is one of the laid-back cities in the world. It is one city that emphasizes the need for relaxation and vacation for civil servants, in pursuit of the work-life balance. It is the capital city of Lithuania, and the population of the people inhabiting it is about 574,147 as of 2018. This was much lesser when Max Polyakov was growing up there about 30 years ago. Vilnius is the second largest city in the entire Baltic Sea. Lying around the southeastern part of the country, the entire institutions of government could be found there. This gamma global city has an old town with notable architecture that makes it famous. This made the UNESCO declare the entire old town as a world heritage site. It harboured many Jews before the Second World War, earning it the name, “Jerusalem of Lithuania”. It got to the extent that King Napoleon even named it “the Jerusalem of the North”. The culture and tourism exploits of the city earned it the position of the European Capital of Culture in 2009.
One of the very significant aspects of Vilnius is that there are natural reserves, gardens, parks, and many other green areas scattered around it. This city also has a lot of lakes that the inhabitants can get to and enjoy some swimming sessions. The city is said to have up to 2.1% of its total land area covered by 30 lakes and 16 rivers. This is enough to influence every homeboy to love tourism and sightseeing, and Mr Gabriel Polyakov is a typical homeboy.
The Polyakov family will never miss a vacation without taking good advantage of the time. They are growing tired of the tourist attractions in Vilnius and other parts of Lithuania. So, when Max turned 18, they decided to go abroad on the next occasion. It was a very big opportunity for the family to experience something unique and different from what they are used to. To make it worthwhile and totally different, they decided to spend the next summer in Africa. They considered all the available attractions and settled for the Kruger National Park in South Africa. The security of the country, the uniqueness of the park, and varieties of what they will be seeing and doing, the travel and transportation logistics, the language and other logistics inspired this choice. The Kruger National Park is a wildlife park located in Makulele, South Africa. The park covers about 19,485 km sq. It is located very close to the Limpopo City and has a climate of 0 degree Celsius. The best period of the year to visit the park is between October and March and the most famous animals there are the elephants.
In the park, the little Max Polyakov and his family experienced the highest reserve of games in entire Africa. This park, which was officially proclaimed in 1926, is part of the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, the Man and Biosphere Reserve and the Canyons Biosphere. The reserve which has a lot of local safari lodges and rest camps for the accommodation of the visitors made a lasting impression on Max. The things that fascinated him most were the number of games and wildlife that converge together in a particular forest. This is a setting he has never seen and experienced before, and he was awestruck all through the one week they spent in the park. He also enjoyed the local food, especially the African Jollof rice.
There were tour guides who led them through different parts of the park, explaining different species of animals as they came across them. According to the tour guides, the park harbours more than 500 species of birds. There are more than 1000 elephants and more than 400 wild dogs of African origin. This is also the first time that Max Polyakov and his family will be seeing live leopard, hippopotamus, African buffalo, rhinoceros and the wildebeest. There were also enough reptiles for them to enjoy. They included the famous black mamba and some crocodiles. The Zambezi sharks were also seen roaming about in the rivers around.
The plants were also very beautiful to behold and the Polyakov family enjoyed them. Max’ elder sister was keen on gathering some flowers from the park, and the managers allowed her. The major trees here are the red bushwillow and the thorn trees. The acacias species are also found here in large quantities. The northern axis has a lot of Mopani Velds, while there are also some areas covered by the Pretoriuskop. It was a lifetime experience for Max Polyakov and his family. But this is not the vacation that touched him the most.
Max Polyakov was going to turn 20 the next year. So, it was time for him to choose a career for himself. While he was enrolled in the State University of Vilnius reading philosophy due to his love for logic and reasoning, he knew he will professionalize in another field. His decision to read philosophy had previously caused some fractions between him and his parents. They did not support the idea, as they wanted him to study something that will give him a lucrative job once he is done. But Max Polyakov did not listen to them. He loved arguments and logical presentations, and never wasted time in enrolling into a course he felt will improve his reasoning and argumentative skills. The fact that this course is also offered free of charge at the university made it his choice course to study. But he is now rounding up and needs to dig deep and find out what he will do with his time after that.
Their next vacation is fast approaching, and they’ve not chosen the place to go to. But Mr Gab came home one evening and suggested that they visit Zurich. He explained that he read up something about the city while researching for a program, and found out it could present enough tourist spots for them. He contacted the Firefly Tourism Agency which is the biggest travel and tour agency in the city, and they gave him a go ahead. The opportunities present in the city were lined up for him. Max Polyakov was also given some guides on the precautions to take before setting out for Zurich and when the family is in Zurich proper. The Firefly Tourism Agency has served as advisers for people seeking to know more about international tourist locations. They also offer tourism services and serve as tour guides for those visiting Vilnius and other parts of Lithuania on tourism. The family agreed on this and everybody became expectant of the fun they will enjoy in Zurich.
Zurich is the city with the largest landmass in entire Switzerland. It also stands as the capital area of the Canton of Zurich. This city lies around the north-central area of the country, just at the northwestern tip of the Zurich Lake. While the Zurich municipal is inhabited by about 400,028, the urban area has up to 1.315 million people. When you move further to the larger metropolitan area, you will have more than 1.83 million. This is one of the centres for air, road and railway traffic in the country and region. In the entire country, the airport and railway stations in the city are the busiest. It is a city that is populated by many tourist attractions, ranging from museums, art galleries, theatres, monumental churches and others. So, the Polyakov family will not fall short of what to enjoy.
When the Polyakov family landed in Zurich and settled in their rented service apartment, their tour guide was the first to knock on their door. Gab has previously booked him through a referral by the Firefly Tourism Agency. He arrived in time to give them an itinerary of the things they will be doing in the next few days, and the places they would be visiting. It did not take the guide another session with them before he learnt all their names and some interesting things about each of them. This impressed Max Polyakov.
Through the period he led them on tour of the amazing sites they’ve chosen to see, they enjoyed him. The guide will, first of all, explain the emergency procedures for each site to them before they set out, and will ensure that all of them understand him. He escorted them to all the places they visited. He made sure that even the smallest information about the sites was reeled out, including the culture and history, plus a timeline of significant events about those. Above all these, the tour guide never got tired of answering the numerous questions Max Polyakov and his siblings were throwing at him at different points. How courteous and friendly he sounded, made Max fall in love with him straight away.
Within the course of the one week vacation, the Polyakov family of 5 visited the Grossmünster (Great Minster) and the Fraumünster (Women's Minster) Churches. They also enjoyed some amazing moments at the St. Peter Romanesque-gothic-baroque church and the Predigerkirche church in the old town. Of course, a much detailed tour of the old town also took place, where all the attractions present were seen, experienced and explained. They also took pictures of the Gerold Cuchi Umbrellas and explanations were made about the meanings.
The tour took them to the Glass Biodomes at the Botanical Gardens, the Zürich Museum of Art, the Swiss National Museum, the Centre Le Corbusier, and the Rietberg Museum. They continued with a tour of some of the numerous fountains in the city, a boat ride at some of the rivers, a tour of Haus Konstruktiv, Uhrenmuseum Beyer, and the No Show Museum. They later enjoyed the Guild houses, the Tram Museum and the Museum of Design. They also visited the Münsterhof square, climbed the Sunrise Tower and explored the Enge Alpenquai, Grosser Hafner and the Kleiner Hafner prehistoric settlements. Other activities they undertook included riding a Cable Car to catch a Perfect View of Zurich. They concluded by visiting the Uetliberg, Chinese Garden, Botanical Garden, Zoological Garden and the North American Native Museum. Because they visited more of museums here, the tour guide had a lot of things to say. While he was explaining all those things, Max Polyakov was not listening to the things he was explaining. Rather, he was enjoying how these things were being said.
He enjoyed the fact that the guide is full of charisma. He loved how he was able to relate with each of them in a very unique manner. His patience and understanding, and the friendly tone with which he explained everything to them marvelled him. Above all, he was surprised at how knowledgeable the guy was about every site they visited, reeling out dates and statistics off by heart and without recourse to any file. The tour guide’s succinct and clear communication skills also got Max Polyakov. At the end of the day, he decided that this is the career he will pursue when he is through with college.
Having made the decision and communicated same to his father, he started reading books on being a tour guide. Mr Polyakov, who has a very good relationship with the people at the Firefly Tourism Agency, put a call across to them. They agreed to accept him into their 1 year Tour and Travel Certification training. He enrolled with them the next year and impressed in the training after one year. Since the Firefly Tourism Agency has a tradition of retaining the best from their academy, Max Polyakov was offered employment in the biggest travel agency in the entire Vilnius. Here, he kick-started what will be one of the most fulfilling careers in the industry.
He is currently 32 and has worked with the Firefly Tourism Agency for 10 years, rising to the position of the head of the Department Of Foreign Travels. This has made the age-long family vacation much easier. He now has to search deeply and discover the most unique vacation spots for his family.
At the tail end of his 10th year at the Firefly Tourism Agency, Max Polyakov was made the regional manager of the Baltic States region of the agency. With this, he is now in charge of anything tourism and travels within those areas in the company. This brings him in contact with an avalanche of customers, especially the tourism lovers from other countries in the region.