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Europe » Belarus October 10th 2013

10 October I have managed to plan a one-day visit to Belarusian Mir and Nesvizh Castles, but it dawned upon me in the course of planning that it was not advisable to visit both castles on the same day, unless I had a private car. It turned out my changing of the tickets for a 2-day visit was the optimal decision, because I managed to sleep, eat well and comfortably visit the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Belarus. I bought Ecolines bus tickets to Minsk and spent some 60 Euros for a night in Tourist Hotel. I chose this one because I and Luda had been there on 9 May 2011, and it included a breakfast. I chose it mainly because of proximity to the metro. I also bought two bus tickets from the Belarusian ... read more
Castle
Saint Nicholas Church
Mir Castle

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk September 29th 2013

Night train from Warsaw to Minsk...in a Belarussian train....the fun is starting. The great news is that they have compartment of 3 berths...perfect for us...even including a small sink. I would simply call it comfortable and clean. In the middle of the night, at the border, they change the wheels as we are entering the former USSR rail system. The kids were deeply asleep and I didn't bother waking them up, as I had already lived the experience between Romania and Moldova just a month ago. Border crossing was also pretty smooth...two kids and a Dad...that brings a lot of smiles! We spent a good 24 hours on our way to the East in Minsk, Belarus. One more country and one more capital for me. Minsk, not much is written about the city when it comes ... read more
Night train from Warsaw to Minsk
Minsk
Main Street downtown

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk May 30th 2013

Arriving in Minsk from Vitebsk, I hopped straight in a taxi to King Hostel, hoping and praying it would be better than the last one. I'd specifically booked my own room for a whopping £27 per night, so I was keeping everything crossed. The room was amazing! I had a double bed, a widescreen TV, surround sound, a balcony, a sofa and an armchair. Loving the room so much, I spent the whole afternoon in there, Skyping and catching up with friends. In the evening, I took a leisurely stroll around the lake and grabbed a few supplies from the supermarket for my bus ride the next evening. On my way through the Trinity area, I passed by the Isle of Tears, a memorial commemorating the Soviet soldiers from Belarus that died during the war with ... read more
The chapel on the Isle of Tears
The Isle of Tears' chapel

Europe » Belarus » Vitsebsk Voblast » Vitebsk May 29th 2013

I slept on-off for the duration of the journey here before the attendant shook me awake (rather aggressively, in fact) to inform me that we were approaching Vitebsk. I'd already set my alarm anyway, so I dozed back off until it sounded. I swiftly hopped into a taxi outside the station and was driven to Mariya's apartment. It was so amazing to see her again! Despite being a busy new mother, she had made me a dinner of chicken, mashed potato and salad. It went down a treat! We sat chatting for a while before tiredness overcame me and I turned in. On Sunday morning, Mariya prepared a delicious breakfast, then we set out for a walk around town with baby Nikka and Mariya's niece, Paulina. Vitebsk is situated in the north-east of Belarus, close to ... read more
The Three Bayonets Memorial
The Annunciation Church
The Resurrection Church

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk May 25th 2013

So, the bus ride was pretty uneventful, and for once, there was an English-speaking attendant, so I didn't have the usual awkward sign-language crap when trying to decipher what was being said to me. The scenery was beautiful; striking green fields as far the eye could see, broken up by the odd little town or village. Border control was pretty strict but disorganised, and other than the fact that I wasn't sweating like a whore in church, I could've sworn I was back in Asia. There was a lot of waiting around with my heavy-arse backpack on (not that I'm complaining - I'm glad to have it back!), and even though I could've put it down, leaving it on was better than lifting it every time we moved a few steps. Note: anyone planning to visit ... read more
Minsk Central

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Europe » Belarus » Brest Voblast March 28th 2013

As usual here in Belarus, the train left right on time, just before midnight the train started the 4 hour journey to Minsk, the night trip here are always sleepers, they did not give you a choice for just seats, which was fine, the ticket is so cheap anyway. We discovered we have the right side of the cabin, so one of us have to sleep on the upper deck, I volunteered. They provided you with pillow, mattress and blanket if you so chose to use it, but the bed/seat is cushioned already so I decided just grab a blanket and pass out. The problem is how to get up to my bed, there is only probably 3 feet of space between my bed and another bed on top of me, which is not used, I ... read more
Brest
Brest
Brest

Europe » Belarus » Vitsebsk Voblast March 27th 2013

After arriving from a day trip to Mir, we headed to the train station to check out the schedules, we are planning on doing day trips to a few cities just to explore. We were thinking Vitebsk and Brest and possibly Gomel as well. Looking at the huge board at the lobby, Mindas, who is fluent in Russian is a little bit confused so we decided, well he decided to ask the lady at the information counter, apparently she was rude and not happy to be helping him, it did not help that he came back maybe 4 times each time with a different time and schedule plans, we just could not make up our minds. Final planning means we have to be travelling 2 whole days going from East to West and transitting in Minsk ... read more
Vitebsk
Vitebsk
Vitebsk

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast March 26th 2013

Woke up with the sun poking through a gap in the curtains of the dorm room, looks like it is going to be a nice day, Mindas and I got ready to start the day, we decided to visit the little town of Mir, where they have a castle sitting atop a small hill, we saw the fotos from a book in the hostel, looked nice. But then Andrew(the cuckoo) invited himself and his girlfriend! But at least he was the one who figured out the schedule and which bus to take etc, so we all got ready, the girlfriend Tania arrived on a taxi and we came down to meet her at the front of the hostel, but aside from Andrew, me and Mindas, Andrei from Gomel who is also staying in the hostel wants ... read more
Mir
Minsk
Minsk

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast March 24th 2013

Snow started to fall as I wait at Logan airport for my flight, luckily we left on time, 6 hours I was in cloudy Paris, still in a daze I followed directions towards my connecting flight and eventually ended up in a long queue of people at the Immigration,I got stamped in no time and off I go. I found the gate where AirBaltic is leaving from but it was delayed by half hour, I don't mind as I dozed off at the waiting area, eventually making it to Riga, grabbed my backpack, bought my fare to Bus #22 at a kiosk just before leaving the arrivals hall, soon as I got out I can feel the crisp Arctic air, it's about 15 F with wind chills, crap, I thought it's supposed to be spring already... ... read more
Minsk
Minsk
Minsk

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk January 1st 2013

Такси прибыло ровно в 11 как и договаривались. Все же некоторые умудрились остаться после новогодней ночи способными на дальние поездки за рулем. Скажу спасибо таксисту за сдержанное слово и пожелаю удачи в новом году. В аэропорту было совершенно нечем занятся и соответственно скучно. Хорошо что хоть выехали не очень рано а то заплесневели бы в ожидании рейса. Минский аэропорт весьма мал и поэтому прохождение всех формальностей не затянулось. 15 минут и мы оказались в крохотном зале ож... read more




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