Posted on Leave a comment

Going Back in Time in Minsk

image

Out of all countries in Europe, Belarus might be the one standing the most out. It is the only European country that Norwegians require a visa to visit making it probably the most closed of all the countries in Europe. With that also comes less tourists and less impact on the country from the outside, so to me Minsk seemed to be a lot like it would have been during the times of the Soviet Union.
Because they do not hide that they once were a part of Russia. Everywhere there are statues and symbols from that time, a lot of them of Lenin and in the most central places like downtown in the Independence Square.
The National Patriotic War Museum also confirmed this, where they had exhibitions of post WWII wars fought by the Russians, like in Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan etc. All in a really grand building with tanks, planes and even trains on display within the museum.
Grand buildings are also very Soviet like and Minsk had many of them. Like the KGB building (yes they still have KGB), the National library shaped like a diamond and the national opera house.
All in all Minsk did have too much to offer, so a two days transit visa might be enough to see what you want to see. I spent my two days couchsurfing with three Belarusian girls who were happy to show me around, cook me traditional Belarusian food and answer all my questions to this strange place over a few beers.

image

image

At the Great Patriotic War Museum they wanted to dress me up to look like an armed hobbit after I was done walking through the exhibitions

Posted on Leave a comment

Mapping My Posts and Future Travels

I just discovered a genius way of displaying all posts on a Google Map using Map My Posts. The widget works with WordPress and can be downloaded from this page. It is really easy to install and simple for people to use. It simply groups your posts by country and add them to a clickable map like the one below:

 

I am also using a similar Wordpress widget called Map Route, which will be able to show you where I am going next:
[route height=”500″ width=”900″]