After spending a nice Tuesday night in Hilpoltstein it was off to Frankfurt airport Wednesday afternoon to catch our Lufthansa city line direct flight to Minsk. As we approached our destination we were awestruck at the beautiful countryside landscapes of Belarus seen out of the airplane window. Our impressions of Belarus were already quite high in those first moments.
Having landed and gone through passport control I began leafing through my passport to take a look at my newest stamp, only to discover that it was nowhere to be found! My immigration card had a stamp, but not my passport! I caught the attention of a border guard who had left his post for a moment and after verifying that the stamp really wasn't there he got my stamp and then made a general statement to all of the guards "Passports must be stamped!"
Not having to wait for baggage we were quickly outside and eager for our first photos on Belarusian soil.
On the bus ride into the city we chatted with an older woman from northern Belarus and had the good fortune of a bus driver who dropped us off at an unofficial stop nearby where we needed to be.
Once we found our hostel we realized just how perfect our location was. After a quick check-in and registration process we were off to enjoy the so called "hospitality zone", a gathering of food, drink, music, and fun for fans to gather and celebrate. No sooner had we gotten in line for a drink when two Belarusians, intrigued by the boys' German, invited us to join them and their friends. We, of course, agreed and thus began a long night of laughing with new friends, bridging language and cultural barriers at our cozy gathering of four nations.