Minsk Journal: Day 4 Tours and Tank Rides

The fourth day of the Minsk adventure and my energy’s definitely flagging.

I was excited however, about this morning’s city tour. They hustled us onto buses and I had high hopes of getting to walk around a central area. As it was, we were given the fast-forward tour and were shown a lot of things from the windows of the moving bus and were only allowed to get out a couple of times for very brief periods.

Lee Harvey Oswald's Minsk digs

We did get to see the outside of the building Lee Harvey Oswald lived in when he gave the U.S. the ol’ “FU” for three years, (apparently, he moved back to the ‘States because – as our charming guide told us – Minsk was too boring for him. (Well heck, one can’t expect to plan an assassination ALL the time) We also saw a few interesting war monuments and a funny revolutionary skit by people in Belarusian peasant outfits who were intended I guess, to make us feel like we were there when everyone had had it up to here with the tsars.

Down with capitalism!

It’s crazy to think that something like 80% of the city had to be rebuilt after WWII. The city is very clean, with lots of green space and only a few historical buildings from the 19th century (and one we saw from the 16th.)

Communist mural

After the whirlwind city tour, we went to the National Library which looks like a spaceship, for a press conference and lunch.

National Library and space station

In regard to lunch, I hate to say it, but by that point, every American (myself included) would have traded their grandmother for a Big Mac. Catered food is not a good measure of a country’s cuisine, but by our 6th meal of potato pancakes and fishy delights, we were done.


Anyway, the day turned stormy and rain started to fall as the afternoon wore on, threatening the success of that night’s Wargaming.net party. We jumped into buses and went briefly back to the hotel (where I collapsed for 30 minutes. It’s amazing I was able to become vertical again when my alarm went off), then jumped onto smaller shuttles to head back to our Belarusian home-away-from-home, The Stalin Line.

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