Blogs from Minsk Voblast, Belarus, Europe - page 7


Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk June 10th 2007

12/02-1/03 This 3 week trip had two purposes: to visit some of my Eastern European friends and to finally go to Belarus. I was successful on both counts. I flew to Budapest, but immediately went Kosice in Slovakia to visit some friends there. I went back to Budapest after that to spend New Year's with Attila my friendfrom when I was studying in Prague. I then took a train north to Warsaw to spent time with my friend Radek and to arrange a visa for Belarus. I spent the next 8 days in Minsk, Europe's only dictatorship. Since the town was almost destroyed completely after WW2, the Communists were able to start from scratch when rebuilding Minsk. They certainly left a mark. Wide boulevards and gigantic government buildings along with drab apartment blocks, define this city. ... read more

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk November 4th 2006

I must admit, when the idea of going to Belarus first cropped up my initial thoughts were; “umm…no way…it’s too dangerous…it’s too communistic.” Strangely enough, the longer I mulled it over, the more excited I became and decided that this was just too good of an adventure to pass up. Well, fast forward two weeks later… train tickets purchased and visas freshly stamped we were off to Minsk. I found the Russian night train to be surprisingly well appointed. The beds were soft, the linens were clean and the pre-war Soviet music which was blaring throughout our compartment was actually quite pleasant. We shared a four-person sleeper with two other Russian women who very generously offered us their aid with translating the Russian customs forms. So, I tucked myself into my bunk, popped two Unisoms and ... read more
Quality train time
I wish we took a taxi...
Ahhh...Hotel Belarus

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk October 17th 2006

I know now how easy it was for the Germans to get stuck going "shit, it's fucking freezing all of a sudden and we forgot our jackets." A week ago I was going out with a T-Shirt on (although this did get some funny looks and Marina's Dad thinking I was insane) because at 12C it really wasn't all that cold, especially without wind. A week or so later and it's -1 at 11am this morning. Not only that but there is something really cold about the air here, I suppose it must be to do with the humidity or something, but even when it was 8C my face felt like it was about to fall off after 30mins outside. Anyway, apart from that I guess I should make an effort of update. Well I ended ... read more
Having lunch
I did it

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk October 1st 2006

Yep, I made it. Actually I'm kind of glad I ended up having to fork out the dough for the flights. Everything I read about the train trip to Belarus talked of problems people had. I just flew in, got my passport stamped and got out! Easy peasy. No difficult visa questions, no nothing. Marina came with a friend of hers to pick me up, it was really great to see her again. As if I wasn't attracting enough attention already for being the obvious westener, Marina then went and screamed loud enough to shatter glass when she saw me. Still, it was nice. :) We then drove sans seatbelts (apparently not required in Belarus) and made our way to Marina's home at some speed. I guess traffic police arn't big here. Yikes, screw the corrupt ... read more

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk August 1st 2006

Long relaxing day as the train chuntered through the rest of Poland and then reached the border with Belarus - 1st stop in the former USSR. An amazing experience with changing the bogies - the track width is different in Russia and Europe so the whole train is lifted up, the undercarriage removed and replaced - takes many hours but is incredible to watch. Only downside being the lack of toilets for 6-7h - amazing how this thought makes you think of nothing else but needing the loo! Men crawling underneath train was very scary to watch! Women entered the train trying to sell us beer and other goods continually - nobody seemed to buy anything so we don’t understand how they make their money. Had to fill in customs forms which was made a little ... read more
Changing the bogies
All those spare wheels

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk June 4th 2006

Thank you Gidget, and our Warsaw hosts; We loved collaborative gardening and the view. Geraniums red and a box of herbs Are happily blooming on your porch anew. This dance M gave for your orange tree Was full of zest and citrus zip... The city winked its dark sunset song To carry us through on our train journey so hip. ... read more
The Venerable Gidget
Orange Crush
Richard Cheese

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk June 23rd 2005

After a most wonderful night sleep in Warsaw, I had breakfeast with the Ambassador and his wife, overlooking the garden and then prepared to go to the station to get my train to Moscow (going through Minsk). As I went down, something happened to me which most horrible people fear with great apprehension: having to meet again face to face the people I traumatised in Warsaw during my turbulent youth. I met again (with great pleasure) our old driver Marek who used to take me to school, for walks in the park and generally take care of me when my parents wanted some peace and quiet. He had not changed one bit, still the same old Marek. After a few emotional moments and a long hug, I apologized to him for my past misbehaviour and he ... read more
A glorious factory
The local market
Lunch on board

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk March 27th 2005

I visited Minsk as well as Breast, Belarus. ... read more
English class @Minsk High School
Minsk Park
Little Girl @Park

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk September 7th 1990

Friday 7th September 1990 I awoke fretting (no pun intended) about the chords to "Yesterday". When we got to the school hall for the concert, there were hundreds of people there. The enormous hall was jam packed with, pupils. First surprise was a presentation to Trystan to mark his eighteenth birthday (tomorrow). He was given some flowers, a medal and a plastic concrete mixer to remind him that the purpose of life is to build achievements or something like that. This proves that the Russians do have a sense of humour after all, just that it's very odd indeed. A bunch of girls traipssd onto the stage and mumbled the Byelorussian national anthem to themsslves whilst a man independently played it on the accordion. He remained whilst a similarly unenthusiastic crew of boys came on to ... read more

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk August 25th 1990

About This Document Where it Came From In Summer 1990, I went on a school exchange trip to Minsk. I kept a handwritten diary throughout the trip. When we got back, I typed the diary up on the family BBC Microcomputer, editing and sanitising it for an audience of family, teachers and friends, to whom I gave printed copies. This year, 2002, my parents gave me the floppy disk it was on. I searched long and hard for a way to transfer data from BBC Micro disks to a PC. All the solutions involved finding a BBC and making a special lead, and in the end I offered some stranger a fiver to do it for me. He kindly offered to do it for free, and got a box of BBC games from a boot sale ... read more

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