Belarus- Minsk, Brest, and rest stops

Belarus was interesting.  Sometimes it was just like every other Eastern European country and other times it was totally sketchy.  It rained the entire time we were in the country though.  All my pictures are gray and rainy 🙁

Minsk was clean capital city and had some interesting sights.  We did a walking tour when we got there.

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Cathedral of the Holy Spirit (Russian Orthodox Church)

Up close with the Icon in the middle

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Cathedral of Saint Virgin Mary in the main square (Roman Catholic)

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The town hall

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Memorial on the Island of Courage and Sorrow to those who died in the Afghanistan War from 1979-1989.

That’s it for Minsk, we were really only there a few hours, and went bowling in our hotel (which also had a strip club, such enterprising folks).

Today the group moved on and into Brest (mature giggle).  We went to the Brest Fortress where the USSR had their “Alamo” against the invading Nazi Germans during Operation Barbarossa– except they didn’t win.  About 3.9 million Nazi troops invaded the USSR and about 13,000 USSR troops held them off for a about a week.

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Entrance to the Fortress

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Memorial with the remnants of part of the fortress in front of it.

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All together now.

More of the fortress remained but it was really raining and cold so we didn’t walk around too much. Brest Fortress was a great stop. If you are ever in Belarus make some time to walk around the fortress.

And for the rest stops:  some were normal, some were totally creepy- just like most rest stops in the world 🙂

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At this one, a guy with gold teeth in a military uniform tried talking to me, I promptly go back on the bus.

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And they have Eastern toilets, meaning it is just a hole in the ground.  I’ve been to China a few times so I’ve seen then before but a lot of the girls I was traveling with were freaking out. Travel tip #1: bring your own toliet paper and hand sanitizer.

Belarus is probably somewhere I will never be again but it was good for the most part.  The $180 visa is not a selling point nor are the 3 hour border stops to get out of the country and into Poland.  Minsk had the dubious honor of being the least visited European capital and that is probably why.

Warsaw, Poland is coming up next!

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