As details emerge about the brazen interception of a Ryanair passenger jet traveling from Athens to Vilnius on Sunday by Belarusian forces, memories of my own visit to Minsk in 2011 vividly resurfaced. Visiting Belarus remains a fascinating memory, not the least because of the problems I ran into (of my own making) getting out of the country. Granted, my visit was a decade ago, but I was amazed then at how much the country felt “Soviet” (versus Russian) and the Cold War iconography that dotted the metropolis.
Below, I’ve republished a photo essay I published on Live and Let’s Fly shortly after my trip.
> Read More: Detained in Belarus!
Stuck In A Different Era: Soviet Union In Minsk, Belarus
Originally published August 23, 2011
I had a fascinating visit to Belarus last weekend, including another incident at the border which you need to check back tomorrow to read about (trust me, it is a great story…). Rather than providing a lengthy written review of my time in Minsk, I want to share some of the photographs I took.
While the Soviet Union may have dissolved two decades ago, you sure would not know it in Minsk. Enjoy the pictures:
The yellow building on the left side is where Lee Harvey Oswald lived after defecting to the USSR
But don’t think life is bad in Minsk. The people, generally, were nice and some improvements in daily life have occurred since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Fishing on an idyllic Sunday afternoon and fully stocked shelves in the GUM Department Store show that things may be a little better now. There’s even a bit of Western influence creeping in. I stayed at the Crowne Plaza, the lone western hotel in the city (full report coming later). There is also two western restaurants: not surprisingly, a McDonald’s as well as a TGI Fridays. Even a Donald Duck t-shirt in a store window…