The Mysteries of Minsk, Belarus

The Mysteries of Minsk, Belarus, Minsk, Belarus (B)

I’m really not sure what our expectations were of Belarus. As a former part of the USSR and still maintaining extremely close ties with Moscow, I guess I had some stereotypical images in the back of my mind. Drab grey communist block architecture, poorly stocked supermarkets and a dearth of Western influence, brands, and media. Perhaps we’d see dour citizens waiting in queues with the strains of Chopin’s funeral march blaring to set the scene. And, of course, KGB agents watching our every move. OK, I’m exaggerating here. But I guess I equated it to Turkmenistan with a high degree of official paranoia and plenty of officials around to stop us from taking pictures of anything even remotely official.

Obtaining our Belarus Tourist Visas in Vilnius certainly didn’t dispel these notions. (See how we did it HERE) It’s one of the few countries around the world that still require you to have an official invitation; OR to have booked your accommodation in one or more Government approved establishments before you can apply. We had also read that we couldn’t cross the border by bicycle and couldn’t get confirmation from anyone to the contrary. The bureaucracy and uncertainty prompted us to shelve any ideas of riding through to Moldova. Especially now we had decided not to go to Ukraine because of the expense and length of time to obtain their visa,  ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Guide Name: The Mysteries of Minsk, Belarus
Guide Location: Belarus » Minsk
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Author: Sharyn Nilsen
Read it on Author's Website:
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Holy Spirit Church
  • Island of Tears Monument
  • Victory Square
  • Trinity Hostel
  • Opera House
  • Church of Saint Simon
  • Lenin Square
  • Talaka
  • New Library
  • Belarus Circus