Back to Belarus

Trip Start Aug 18, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
IBB Hotel Minsk
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of Belarus  , Minskaya Voblastsʼ,
Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Today was the last day of our trip. We ate the delicious, but strange, mixture of food that was provided for breakfast. I had never heard of having veal for breakfast, but it was there along with cold fish and all sorts of vegetables, plus all of the things Americans would recognize with breakfast, and more that we would not.

 After breakfast we began the journey back to Belarus. We caught the metro and then a cab to the airport. Then the many layers out of Ukraine and then into Belarus came before and after the short flight from Kiev to Minsk. We were to stay one more night in the hotel that we had spent the night in previously, so we knew what to expect.

 On this day in Minsk we had quite a few hours of daylight to actually go out and enjoy the city of Minsk. It was a fascinating trip through the capital of a city that does not try to hide the fact that is was and still is, for all intents and purposes, a communist state. However, it is a bit contradictive, because while walking down the main street in Minsk we came across a T.G.I. Friday’s and McDonald’s, the capitalistic beacons sort of contradicted the shining red star that could be seen everywhere. 

I pointed out T.G.I Fridays, and against my protests that it was American food, we ended up eating there. It was literally the same food as in the states. Victor and his family read the menu and ordered so fast that I did not have time to even choose something different, so I found a picture that looked interesting and ordered that. I also had the problem of not being the one paying for food, and not wanting to chose something very expensive. However, the prices on the menu were in denominations of something like 135,000. So, with prices like that you could only guess at what and un-inflated price was.

None of us knew much about Minsk, but I had checked out a guide book form the library on Belarus and Victor used it to guide us around the city to see all of the different official buildings such as the main university, opera house, presidential palace and the parliament.

The most interesting things that we saw, in my opinion were all along the main street. The first was the state circus, which had some of the best statues I had ever seen. I had not known that there was a state circus anywhere, but I know that Russia had a good circus, so I guess Belarus must have a pretty good one to. In the states I think that our state circus is the government, so we have no need for clowns with painted faces, ours wear suits instead.

The next place that was top of my list was the apartment house where Lee Harvey Oswald lived while he was in the USSR. He lived in Minsk in a building with a great view. He lived here while he was more than likely doing espionage for the United States government before he was brought back and framed for the assassination of JFK, which he did not do.

 The final place that was fascinating was The Museum of the First National Congress. This was where the first congress of the Russian Social Democratic party was held met in secret when it was still considered illegal in the 1898. Fidel Castro visited this museum in the 1970’s.

The museum was at the end of the walk, and from there we walked back down the main street and after a debate on where to catch the bus boarded and road back to the hotel. Upon arrival at the hotel I crawled into bed and fell asleep. I slept until the next morning when we had to get up and go back to Sweden. You never realize how tiered you are until you have the chance to sleep at the end of trip.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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Carol Boster on

Loved your comment about the state circus in Washington where the clowns wear suits - LOL
Thanks for changing my email address.
It's funny you mention TGIFriday's as a beacon of capitalism. In Pleasanton, it sadly closed its doors about a month ago! But that's how it works, I guess.

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