The origonal plan for Thursday had been to set off to see a traditional Belarusian village, kind of like an open air musium to traditional peasent life. Unfortunatly I was still feeling out of sorts and the weather didnt look too promising. So we decided to stay inside the city and explor some more.
First place we visited was a Russian market there was a lot of artwork icons and dolls. Next stop was the musium of the great patriotic war (WWW II to you and me). The musium like a lot of places in Belarus there is a different price for residents than for tourists.
The first thing to notice is that the Russians date the war from 41-45 not 39-45 as we westerners do because Hitler and Stalin signed a non agression pact which Hitler promptly broke in 1941.
Belarus had it pretty hard the Nazis did not like Communists and totally flattered Minsk and attempted to exterminate as many of its people as possible (probably about 1million people). Their hatred was directed mainly at the non airian population they wanted to save the nordic looking to help futher the master race. All in all it walking about I saw the Russians have a very different war then the one fought in the west.
After the musium went for a bite to eat then off for a look round the Botanical gardens, I was a bit heistant but actully enjoyed strolling around with Maia. We sat for a long time next to the lake there watching the Swans and chatting about things.
On the way out we went the wrong way and found ourselves in the amusement park next door. I found out that Pancakes with filings are a common (and tasty) Belarusian meal. Maia insited on feeding me more medication including rather disgusting cough syrup. Watching the Russian school children file through the park I could have been anywhere in the wetern world on the terrible russian techno pumping from one of the cafes reminded me I was in Belarus.
We made a quiet trip to the bus station to buy the tickets for the Dacha trip and I got a chance to see the Belarus staggering national library. Its simply increadible, ugly and imposing over the ladnscape it boggles the mind as to why! Dispite being a university professor and having had to make a donation towards it Maia had never been inside. Seems like a giant waste of money to me.
Thanks to the fact I was still feeling ill and wanted to get well in time for the weekend trip to Maia Dacha after grabbing a coffee I headed back to the hotel for an early night.