I was looking for a new destination to discover. I didn't have visa to anywhere so I was searching on the list of visa-free countries for Turkish citizens. I came across with Belarus. I heard very little about this country and people. Then I remembered. There were one nice person from the office. A few months ago she asked me why I have never been to her home country, to Belarus. I couldn't find the answer. So it was it. I decided to go to Belarus. What did I know about Belarus? Nothing. I was checking if there were any other person from Belarus.
Apparently there were another person from the office. So, I talked to her about my security concerns. She was shocked that I was even asking and telling me that it is very safe country. Of course I had doubts at that point. It was a black box for me. Never been, never heard anything about the country itself. Yes, of course heard a lot about Slavic beauty but it wasn't just Belarus, it was also Russia and Ukraine. For us, they are still part of Russia. You can tell Ukraine is a separate country even though Russia is kinda occupying. I am not going into politics.
So at the end, I have decided to go there and told about it to my friend. After a while he also wanted to join me in this trip and also started researching about the city. Also, his first question was about the security. That moment I understood that name of the country and location of it made us think about security. I don't know why but I always thought that there are many mafia's there. It was something placed on our subconscious somehow. Maybe by the movies or news. I, literally don't know. Anyway, I started checking plane tickets and accommodation options. Meanwhile I met another Belarusian. She helped me to choose the accommodation. There are direct flights from Turkey to Belarus. But they are way expensive. We have decided to take a plane to Kiev first and then fly from there to Minsk. Same thing on the way back to Istanbul. But, on purpose, we had 24 hours overlay in Kiev just to see Kiev for a day. I have been to Kiev airport a couple of times but not in Kiev. So, it was a good opportunity to see it, even it was for a night. The price by going over Kiev was 25% was cheaper. I was checking prices everyday to see if it drops or gets higher. Because we didn't agree on the date yet with my friend. Even if you buy last minute price is almost the same if you buy a month ago or two. At the end we agreed on the dates and bought tickets 3 days before the flight. It was around 200 USD. And in general it is around that price from Istanbul.
The day has arrived and got a little bit excited. Many countries I have visited but still get a bit excited and nervous when I go somewhere new :). I think it is good and it is why I am still travelling. I don't think I meant to be stay in one place. Like my ancestors, I was born to move around the globe and conquer. Belarus, we are coming to conquer you! :).
A few rows before I was telling that I met a Belarusian. When we went there she became our travel guide and showed us around. She was giving us tips like where to go what to do. At the end we didn't do much because of the cold :). I am fine with cold but my friend is not. First tip she gave us was that we could go to city center by transfer service fee of 30 BYN ($15). By the way they use Belarusian ruble as their currency which is shorten as BYN and is equal to $0.5. But when you talk to them they will always tell you prices in dollars not in BYN. in the restaurants, cafes or market and etc. you will see rubbles of course. So bear that in mind. Back to the transfer from airport to city center. When you land taxi drivers will be waiting for you and ask about $30 to take you to city center. You can take public transportation for much cheaper price (4 BYN if I m not mistaken) but I rather to go by transfer. The transfer desk is on the gates 5-6 section of the airport. Where are those gates? section? When you get out of customs turn left and keep walking till you see MTC on the right side and there is a flower shop on the left side after flower shop you will see transfer desk. On the desk they will be speaking English and will ask your address and will guide the driver to take you there. They are very nice and helpful. Credit card is accepted. I don't like taxi drivers in general. Here is the same. Uber works here like a charm. Uber will cost around 29-31 Rubbles to city center. But instead of waiting for Uber, you can easily go by transfer service which is the same price. on the way back to airport we used Uber and costed 29 BYN. Another tip for the airport. Exchange offices are the same price as city center and don't charge you for another service like other countries.
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