Waking up has never come easy for me, so having to wake up at 4am to catch a 6am flight was hard, very hard.
To be honest I was totally afraid. I wasn't sure what to expect, I guy from the travel company was ment to meet me at Minsk 2 airport other than that I was on my own. The journey to Warsaw passed in a sleepy trance and after an hours wait I was on my way to Belarus. It was only a hours flight which passed pretty quick though I did get a little worried that the pilot annonced we were about to land and all I could see were trees no airport or civilisaion at all. Minsk 2 aiport was the pits, it was really hard to understand where to go as there were no signs and you arrive into the departure lounge and have to march down a different set of stairs, if you got the wrong way scary looking Russian people shout at you. I know becoause I was one of the first (there were not many of us) off the plain and not knowing where to go went wrong.
Passport control was harsh it seemed to take forever I dont know what the women was doing but it seemed important she took many long hard looks at me asked somenthing in Russian seemed very upset I didn't understand and answered in English. After about 10 minutes I was let thought only to have to go through a security point to leave the airport! Then one of the best moments of the trip after all the worry over whether she would turn up my friend Maia was waiting for me in the arrivals lounge. along with Alex from the travel company.
Alex drove the 40km to Minsk dropped us off at the hotel. Maia and I then went walking about the city. She showed me the old town and Afgahanistan memorial. Its a memorial to the mothers of soldiers lost in the Afgahnistan war, its a favorite stop for newly weds to put down some flowers and to touch one of the statues, we even saw one newly married couple heading there. I was like a kid wowed by all the different sights around me. Riding along an almost empty motorway passing forest and villages totally unlike anything I have seen before.
In the evening we went out to a bar I got rather drunk on Russian beer and listened to a rather strnage cover band, there were good musicians but had a tendancy to play a really uptempo song followed by a real downer! Strange Strange Strange!
Hi John, I have just spent the last 5 hours reading all of your 2006 blogs, when I was suppost to be working ( such a productive day, I am sure if my boss knew well you know ). I have really enjoyed reading it all, I now feel quite addicted. Can not wait to hear more about your time in Russia I place I have always wanted to visit. xxx
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