Blogs from Minsk Voblast, Belarus, Europe - page 5


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

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

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

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk October 20th 2012

The day trips out of Minsk While Juha and I were in Belarus we also made a few day trips out of Minsk. For reasons I explained in the previous blog entry from Belarus the visa regulations made it too difficult to stay over night outside Minsk so day trips was all we could do. This blog entry will be about these day trips. But before that I'd like to talk a little about the Belarusians. In Belarus people are not used to meet tourists simply because there are not very many tourists around. When we were in Minsk we barely saw any tourists at all. In typical tourist attractions, such as Mir Castle and Nezvizh Castle both of which I will write about later on, we saw some tourists but not hoards like in other ... read more
Mir Castle
Mir Castle on a banknote
Mir Castle chapel

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk October 19th 2012

Imposing buildings, majestic subway stations and various memorials A few years ago I, Ake, and my friend Juha talked about Belarus and realised that we both wanted to go there. It took some time before we finally got there but in July this year we did. It has also taken some time for me to get down to finally updating the blog with photos and stories from this trip. But now, somewhat late, you can read the first of the blog entries from Belarus. For us to get the visa to visit Belarus was not as easy as you might think. We had to in advance book hotel for every night we wanted to stay in the country and we had to include a copy of the booking confirmation in our application. This paperwork made us ... read more
Hill of Glory
Hill of Glory
Hill of Glory

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk July 18th 2012

Minsk was something like a bonus destination on our trip, since we didn't originally plan to go there, but it is on our route home, and makes a good one day stopover on our way from Kiev to Vilnius. 12th city of the trip in total. We arrived by night train at 8.30, again tired and feeling worn after the night on the train. We can sleep ok on trains, but whenever the train journey includes a border crossing we are woken up in the middle of the night by several people checking our passports, asking about our luggage etc. This takes time, so we end up being awake something like an hour in the middle of the night. Also the fact that there are no shower possibilities etc..well, let's just say a night on the ... read more
National Library
Victory Square
Vilnius was much more "humane" :)

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk September 8th 2011

“Rochelle! Rochelle!” a friend of mine told me to say in the streets of Minsk. Unsure as to whether I had found my ‘Rochelle or her daughter’ I thought maybe she had reached Minsk? I arrived at the airport and immediately was forced to pay for medical insurance by the government. The official piece of paper was put in an envelope, which had a map of Belarus. On this map I saw a place called Pinsk. Those that have followed my Milan to Minsk journey will recall that this part of my trip is dedicated to Seinfield and their fictional movie called Rochelle Rochelle, with a twist. ‘A young backpackers strange and ‘hopeful’ erotic journey from Milan to Minsk.’ Now, on the show when that movie gets turned into a Broadway musical, a line for the ... read more
2 - The main square of Minsk
3 - Island of Tears
4 - The main street

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk April 26th 2011

As Hannah and I boarded the train to Minsk, Belarus, it should have been a sign of things to come as our ‘seats’ were actually beds above the seats as we were on a sleeper train that had started much further west in Europe and wasn’t finishing until Moscow. So we sat as best we could as I read and Hannah wrote her journal. We would have talked with the others in our section but we were the only English speakers around. This was especially helpful when we came to border and despite having the correct visas, they wanted to see our medical insurance. I pulled out our travel insurance which covers us for the world but apparently this wasn’t acceptable, and after the pulling out his phone, the border guard called someone who spoke English ... read more
Communist art
Main Square

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk April 26th 2011

After leaving Clay to explore Latvia, James and I found ourselves off the tourist trail towards Belarus! The train carriage is nothing like I’ve ever seen before – our allocated seats were upper bunk beds, notably higher than normal, but with no ladder to get up! And when you did manage to get up that high, there wasn’t even enough head-room to sit up! For 5 hours! To make matter worse, the train was quite full and EVERYONE only spoken Russian. The ladies that we were sharing the area with made some kind of hand gestures to suggest we could sit on the lower bunks with them, so that was good! Crossing the border was interesting. Firstly we had to leave Lithuania, simple stamp of our passports. Easy enough. Getting into Belarus, however, was a different ... read more
Welcome to Minsk
Lenin Statue
The Front Door

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk September 7th 2010

In the last post about Minsk, I talked a lot about Sovietisms, and ended with a frankly pathetic "life goes on". It's hard for me to know how to feel about Minsk. Even in the USA's darkest days under George W. Bush, and in spite of some liberals' worst fears, W never did some of the creepy things Lukashenko has done in Belarus - like a rigged referendum to abolish term limits which, since the presidential elections are rigged as well, allows him to serve as president for life if he wishes. (Even Putin didn't do it quite that way.) What does that mean for Belarusians? I have no idea. It depends what the president does with his power, right? Lukashenko is criticized in the west for being cozy with Russia; I don't know what that ... read more
Tea and biscuits (cookies)
Мне шкада дурня!
Metro station

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