Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Belarus days four and five - Adventuring!

We let ourselves sleep in a little later on Saturday morning, knowing that we would be up all night.  After checking out of the hostel we went to the post office to buy and send a few postcards and then checked out a few other sites in that part of the city.

Main post office in Minsk

National Pedagogical University

Lenin Square

Church near Lenin Square

Fountain in Lenin Square

Lenin statue and government building

The boys hanging out with Lenni

After grabbing an ice cream on the square we were off to Vitebsk in the northeast of Belarus, the fourth largest city in the country.  Once we had arrived and found a place to park the first priority was finding something to eat.  We found a nice outdoor place to eat shashlik and then spent a couple of hours roaming the streets to get a good impression of the city.

On the road!

First impressions of Vitebsk!


This street reminded me of Andriyivskyy in Kiev

View of Vitebsk

Main square across from the WWII memorial and near the children's park
Next we set off on a little "extreme" tourism.  We may or may not have found ourselves on a certain unmarked and unguarded border ;)

En route back to Minsk we stopped in the city of Orsha to eat some dinner.  Not finding much of anything open we ended up eating at "Funny Chicken".  The food wasn't anything special, but at least we had a little something in our stomachs.

Once we got back to Minsk there was a little bit of fiasco with returning the rental car and making sure we had enough cash for the taxi to the airport, but all in all everything worked out just fine...it always does, doesn't it?

In the airport the boys bought some Belarusian vodka to take back as a souvenir and Mario and I all but slept through boarding (good thing Markus was there!) and off we were back to Germany!

Traveling to Belarus I didn't quite know what to expect from the country.  It's not exactly a country with a booming tourist industry, but  I could tell that the Belarusians took great pride in the fact that more people than ever were visiting their country thanks to the relaxed visa policies during the ice hockey championships. I'm eagerly awaiting the day when Belarus' complex and expensive visa regime is done away with and I can get back there to explore more of the country.  If you haven't been to Belarus yet - go! You're missing out on something spectacular!

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