Crossing into Belarus demanded a lot of patience. In fact we were at the border for about 5 and half hours. Mostly we queued with lots of other people and we were searched about 3 times, although not very thoroughly. Arriving in Brest we had a quick lunch and then we only had a short time to visit the world war 2 memorial which is vast and includes a church and lots of other buildings. Sadly we could only stay a short time as we were booked in the national park which was about 60 km away. It was thanks to 2 very helpful guys who actually drove in front of us to show us the right road out of Brest. We are perplexed by the road signs in Cyrillic writing and the sat nav couldnt find any roads.
We arrived in the tiny village of Belaya and were really surprised by our accommodation which was a separate building with 2 bedrooms , kitchen and patio area.
The park entrance was about 8 km away and we spent the next 2 days walking and cycling in the lovely sunshine. We had 2 Belarussian meals which were potato covered meat balls sour cream and savoury pancakes which were really delicious and also chicken and mashed potato followed by pancakes and home made raspberry jam. It was a really good experience and Natasha our hostess was a good cook
Leaving here we went north to Grodno. Sadly it threw it down and we had a very very wet afternoon wandering around the old part. We even had a guided tour of the church by the priest who spoke excellent English.
We spent the night in a hostel, 4 bunk beds to the room!!!!!!! But there was a kitchen to cook in.
Minsk was a real surprise. Our guest house turned out to be a 3 bed house in a hated community which we had to ourselves. A short drive and then a long metro ride took us to the centre which is a bit Disney like. Everything is very clean and quiet, not like a capital city at all.. It was nice to feel totally safe and to not be jostled at all. No major shops to be seen Amazing!!!!!!
Less than 2 miles from the city you are back in the countryside.