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Published: October 13th 2019
Our time in Belarus is almost over. It’s time to head towards the airport. We check out of our Soviet era hotel with one last journey in the terrifyingly jolty lift.
The drive to Minsk is basically 240 miles along one long, straight, flat road through mile after mile of flat fields with occasional flat woodlands. It’s so dull I find myself longing for hills – a rare occurrence in my world.
After 3 hours, we break the journey at Nesvizh Castle, a picturesque 16th Century castle surrounded by a moat. Inside is a museum charting the castle’s history. The floors are a mixture of polished wood, marble, tiles and silk rugs which all need to be negotiated whilst wearing plastic bags on your feet. Health & safety isn’t a thing in Belarus.
Afterwards, we continue on the long, straight road to Minsk. The tedium is broken firstly by trying to buy petrol through the medium of mime, and secondly by failing to slow down through a village, thus triggering a speed camera. Who knew the old man could drive fast enough to get a speeding ticket?
Tonight’s accommodation is a motorway truck stop. We have stayed
in some dire hotels, which looked OK in the photos. This place looks dire in the photos, so we check in with trepidation. It’s actually not too bad – the last time I saw anything like it was in a Gdańsk museum replica of an 1970s dock worker’s house - but it’s clean and comfortable.
My relief is short lived when we go downstairs for food. I order a hash brown stuffed with mushrooms and onions. It’s literally the worse thing I’ve ever tasted; it’s a rather alarming shade of grey and has the taste and consistency of a doormat soaked in chip fat. Bring on the Ukraine…
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