Well. Yesterday was another hard slog but here I am in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Just a short stay if you really two days not including yesterday. But the journey began at around 220am yesterday in Jerusalem. Yes another stupidly early start!
I was told my Nesher service taxi usually comes early – it was booked for 3am but I should be ready by 230am. Naturally it was late! 310am or so but that’s when I did my last post in the lobby of the hotel.
We zoomed off to Ben Gurion Airport getting there by 415am or so, more than three hours before the flight. The security experience though is nothing if not thorough. And that is, I guess, understandable. Interestingly coming in to Israel not so much.
There were a series of questions before you could check in. And then both checked and hand luggage got a tag. After check in security to departures was as thorough as you are ever likely to experience. Which took time. Passport control on the other hand was electronic, simple and fast. The Ben Gurion experience will demand a detailed dedicated post at some point.
The flight left on time and in a couple of hours I was back at the new Istanbul Airport going through another security check where I had to prove my laptop was really a computer. I’d had five hours sleep in the evening and lay down here for a short nap. My flight to Minsk was at 120pm and soon it was time to head to the gate.
I watched ‘Pavarotti’ on the flight. Touching down the Minsk Airport was in the middle of nowhere surrounded by forest. Immigration was quick and easy and soon I had my bag and was on a bus to the Central Station.
I impressed myself by walking across around 700 metres to find the Metro station with a little help transferring and getting off and despite not having a map with the hotel on it.
Minsk is the opposite of Jerusalem with huge buildings and wide streets. And yes, it’s very very cold here. Big glitzy shopping centres. And my hotel is very comfortable and things are, all in all, pretty cheap.
And now it’s time to get out and explore! Thanks for reading- May the Journey Never End!