As promised in May, we started the new cycle “Unknown War” in Brest, where we spent three days, from 20 to 22 in June. A large amount of material was filmed, and while the video is being processed, I decided to start publishing something like travel notes. I think it will be significant, especially since we were in Belarus for the first time, and many of the readers were not at all. A visit to this republic caused mixed impressions. But mostly positive.
Before traveling, I consulted with a resident of Brest, who works in my city. But, since it was Belarusian, some things, quite normal for him, later played a cruel joke on us. But - in order.
In the so-called border area, we followed the advice given to us by a local agent: "Walk in on your full side." This is in terms of fuel. The problem was the same, especially in relation to gas. They coped, and crossed the border with a full tank and balloon. Which subsequently came in handy.
We did not find the border itself. More precisely, its Belarusian part. There was a border post on our side, where the border guards looked at us with curiosity and reminded us of the presence of passports. And they won't let me back in. At this formalities were completed, and we wished a pleasant journey. When we asked, and where is the border, the sergeant gave up and uncertainly said: "There ... in a kilometer."
Not a kilometer or three away, we did not find anything similar. The fact that we are already “not here” became clear from roadside kiosks with “Insurance in Russia” signs. Hello Belarus!
The surrounding landscape has not changed, except that the road surface has become better. And we rushed in the direction of Krichev, where we expected to get hold of local currency.
So it turned out that at home we did not purchase "those" rubles. The upcoming denomination in Belarus somehow affected the presence of belrubley in our banks. Did not have. And taking into account that they didn’t use them in particular (far away), we decided that it’s not a problem, we’ll take it on the spot.
Dream, dream ...
2. Belarusian surprises
In Krichev, to our surprise, we found out that the Belrubls do not shine for us. For sunday. And all exchangers to a single closed. Well, it does not matter, on the way more civil Mogilyov. Right now!
In Mogilyov was all in the same pore. After talking with the guards in one of the found banks, we realized that we would be destitute until Monday. That is why they corrected the route and immediately rushed to Brest. Well, not to call in Minsk for the sake of such trifles? Moreover, we clearly had enough flammable food, snacks took place in the trunk, and it wasn’t the fact that something was different in Minsk. And in the case of arrival in Minsk and failure would already be strained. Well, we decided not to risk it.
Service on plastic cards on the roads is, frankly, not a fountain. Not all terminals accept our cards and not all banks. The most advanced in this regard is our “Lukoil”, but it is not often encountered. Belarusneft was impressed by the network where something constantly breaks down in terms of terminals. Well, or simply do not want to mess with the Russian cards. Hard to say.
Exceptions, as they say local, are terminals at the traffic police. These crack all the cards and with pleasure.
Well, and one more small minus. Gas stations are located somehow chaotically. There may be three one after another, and then a fair amount of the way there will be no refills at all.
In any case, for everyone who decides to take a ride in Belarus by car, a couple of tips. Do not be lazy to do two things: to pour under the traffic jam on your side, for it is considerably cheaper and to stock up on a thousand or other Russian rubles in Belarusian equivalent. Yes, our insurance is cheaper. 840 rubles. We have never checked it, but if you fly it will be sad. Fines in Belarus are quite European and are calculated in euros.
In general, it is better not to fly fines. Not every budget will survive. We behaved decently (with one exception), so it cost. But exceed - God forbid. Moreover, even in the smallest village there can be a camera.
And one more joke. Toll roads. They are. But we, until we were explained, did not understand how to pay for them. We are not familiar with terminals. Just a sign: "Toll road". And that's all. Nowhere is there any explanation on this subject, think as far as advancement is concerned. We did not realize it, because we reached Brest and slightly frightened our meeting with this question.
Thank God, Russian cars of category "B" drive on toll roads for free. Such a brotherly bonus. And the rest are required to pay. And it should be done independently, at the gas station, where there is a corresponding terminal. To find and pay is the personal responsibility of everyone. I did not find / did not pay - welcome to the warm embrace of the State Automobile Inspectorate.
Visitors from Ukraine, for example, are required to pay. And there are whole parking lots of confiscated cars, whose owners chose to leave them rather than buy them. This is the reality with respect to the neighbors.
When we expressed surprise that there was no information at all on this topic, we were told that fines are a good part of the country's budget. If at each corner to inform, from whom they (fines) to take? Such is the aspect.
About gas as fuel for cars. I strongly advise you to forget about him there. What is poured on Belarusian gas stations can only be considered gas with a great stretch. Cheating godlessly. The concept of "pour to full" they do not. How much you ask - so much and pour. The first time I asked for 50. Filled 50. On the "Lukoil". Although he does not trade gas in our country. And obviously still could be, although I have a cylinder 52 liters. In Russia, 48 no longer climbed the laws of physics. Passed on these 50 liters as much as 325 km. Although normal for my car 430-450 km on the highway. Okay.
I experimented a second time. On Belarusneft. With a hand that did not tremble, the tanker “poured” exactly the 60 liters declared by me. On the frankly mocking question, how is it in a cylinder on 52 liters (not quite empty, by the way) entered 60, he quite calmly replied: "Did you ask for 60? Here you have 60 ..." Enough of these 60 liters per 352 km.
And gasoline they have nothing. Only more expensive. But about the gas in the Republic of Belarus for the rest of my life, I forgot from the word completely. Itself is more expensive. Because the fact that I was poured out of the cylinder upon arrival, somehow my gasman could not classify. It smelled like gas, but did not burn and did not evaporate. Substance.
Here is a sovetik. Suddenly useful.
3. Roads and around them
In general, as roads are, Belarus is unequivocally “tseevropa”. Smooth, smooth, clean. Perfect. Both paid and free. About the same. At least, from the border to Brest. That is, having traveled all over the country from east to west, we did not see the usual holes and potholes anywhere.
Cleanliness and order in Belarus are simply killed. And in cities, both large and small, and on the roads. He made an experiment: got out of the car and plunged into the forest belt along the road. The nearest town was still 50 kilometers. Order. No bottles, and cans, nothing. Virgin forest.
In the cities about the same. In general, it is not clear whether they are conscientiously cleaned or not littered. Apparently, the second. Because in Mogilev and Brest, they specifically went away from the central streets, just to check. The result is the same.
And this is no longer Europe, where it is slightly off to the side and you can easily and naturally dig it for a gaddler. What's in Prague, in Hamburg. And indeed in almost any European city.
On the roads a lot of undercamping. And they look great too. Yes, this is not our М4, where from time to time there are asphalted pockets with overflowing garbage containers and toilets that have not been cleaned since the day they were created.
In Belarus, it looks different. Usually in such a pocket there is a cafe or shop, benches, benches, and even gazebos with a roof. Plus, the cafe staff, apparently, and keeps the site clean. An indispensable attribute is a map indicating the next such place. On toll roads.
We stopped twice for lunch on the "wild" highway between Mogilyov and Krichev. Playground on the lake, in the forest. Pergolas, pieces of 5 garbage containers, tables. In short, everything you need for a field lunch. If there is an artesian spring with water, there will always be a corresponding sign about it.
Generally, the signs on the roads divide. Warn about everything that is possible. The most common: "Hurray!", That is, "Warning!" White triangle with a red border and a black dot in the middle. And under it are the plates of the reason "uvagi" It comes to 5. Not photographed, but saw. It would be easier to hang the sign "local apocalypse". Or "everything is bad."
But when you stop at a site where there are no signs (they warn about it in advance), it becomes even uncomfortable.
The fact that around the roads. Going to Belarus for the first time, inevitably set themselves up to see endless fields of kartokhi around the tracks. Released a complete bummer. The fields were, and yes, extensive and all that. But for some reason, they were planted quite often with cereals. Even strange somehow.
And only in one single place, kilometers in 50 from Minsk, we finally saw the required. Breathed out, for the potato was available, and already quietly drove on.
The cows, or rather their number, also inspired calm. There were plenty of cows. Herds of 100-200 heads flashed constantly. For the sake of justice, on the way back through the Bryansk and Oryol regions in the afternoon we did not see cows at all. And in Belarus - please.
By the way, partisans very often leave the forest. Despite the fence. And then trade the gifts of the forest. Berries and everything else. Sometimes the spontaneous bazaars on the side of the road look very ... Man by 30-40.
A Belarusian at the wheel is a man who is absolutely law-abiding (and otherwise with such fines and total surveillance) and cultural. Over the 5 days that we rolled out on roads and cities, we had the whole THREE cases that required an urgent response. THREE. And on the frank rudeness dragged only one. Two - so ... we have such a ten for the day you can catch.
Passing pedestrians is generally a nightmare. Pedestrians do not cross the road, they move. Especially where just a transition, without a traffic light. Absolutely not looking around. Overdo it, to be honest. And the drivers are waiting.
We have once distinguished ourselves, though not entirely due to our fault. Blunted navigator threw us into the oncoming lane of the road. There really is at first glance not quite clear how to move. And we were so famously on the fourth lane, designed to turn at a crossroads. Oops, not on purpose! But having flown, they realized, and rose.
Green for that street caught fire, but not a single car started off on either side. The people calmly assessed the situation, and waited, what these clowns would still do. And there were options. We could just turn around through all the lanes, we could drive 150 meters somewhere up to the right turn, we could go back.
From the window of the nearest car: "Guys, everything is fine, but you are quickly determining where to go on ..."
We passed back, turned to our side, and only then, apparently, sighing with relief, did everyone leave. Impressed.
In general, it was easy to dissect at Estima in Brest. Since the "right-handed" in the Republic of Belarus is prohibited, our narrow-eyed vehicle, and even with the Russian numbers are not the most famous region, attracted attention. Not that they shied away, but tried to keep their distance. Just in case.
4. About residents
Since we spent most of the time in Brest, we also made up our opinion on the inhabitants of this city.
Brest is considerably smaller than our city, four times that way. Licked, combed and in general, such a doll.
How can you judge the welfare of residents? Probably by car.
Brest surprised. We did not expect to see so many cars that have long and firmly settled in our category "auto junk". "Golfs" - "twos" - herds. "Trade winds" 2 and 3, "Fords" "Sierras" and "Escorts", "Audi" - "herring" ... In general, hello, nineties.
Russian car industry is not visible. Once we saw "Vesta" on the track, sometimes the "sixes" still flash. Gaytsy ride on the "dozens", but, apparently, Ukrainian, "Bogdanah". Everything. The rest is Europe, the Germans and the French of the nineties. Something modern is also present, but in small amounts.
In general, probably, like us. Only ours were transferred to Koreans and VAZs, and now there is such a reserve. But, it should be noted that in appearance it is not called auto junk. Everything is decent looking, not crumpled, not rotten ... City Museum.
What else can be said about the Belarusians, specifically about the inhabitants of Brest. Peculiar. A sort of nautilus in the sinks. Outward some claws and a mustache. It is quite difficult to start a conversation, much to try. And the first time does not leave the feeling that you either somehow evaluate, or check. Moreover, we did not derive any regularity.
Suddenly, a Belarussian person clicks something in the head, some gears are hooked, and next to you is a sort of shirt-guy, ready to go with you to the other end of the world.
Or maybe not click. And then it is better to look for another interlocutor or guide.
We also understood, almost immediately, that we can talk with Belarusians on any topic other than politics. “Let's not talk about politics” is a very common phrase. About any policy. Internal, external, neighbor. And, if you want to continue communication - it is better to remove this topic. And in the future do not raise. And everything will be wonderful, especially since a real Belarusian will always find something to talk about and tell.
It is also better not to ask about certain internal aspects, especially concerning the Lukashenko line. This is a pretty painful topic for any local. It cannot be said that everyone crowds approve of what the father is doing, but to discuss it is not particularly eager. "This is how we live ... This is Belarus ...".
We concluded for ourselves that life in a small police state is rather complicated and problematic for the people. In some aspects.
But what not to take away from the Belarusians is patriotism and love for their country.
We often heard secret stories about how far from perfect everything is in arrangement, about problems. There was no suggestion about ways to solve problems, but when I said that if everything is like this, why not go to Russia, where there are really no such problems, then they looked at me rather strangely. The option of changing citizenship was not considered by all my interlocutors.
Not the “younger brother's syndrome”, but any Belarusian will try by all means to show that they have at least as good. Yes, they don’t like much in their arrangement, but somehow it’s not customary to complain about it or not ... There’s an opposition for this, which they don’t particularly hold for people either. In principle, as with us.
But in general, the people are very friendly and friendly. To their own. We had a case before the parade of participants, 21 June, we were just attacked by two residents of Grodno, Victor and Yura. They were a little bit of a podshofé For a rather long time they had spoken maliciously at our expense, until it became clear to their mind-clouded minds that we, despite our form, were Russians. For some reason they could not ask immediately, but they decided that we were either from Kazakhstan or from Israel. There were reenactors and from these countries too.
As soon as it became clear, and even aggravated by the fact that for the first time in Belarus, as an apology and in order to show us the true soul of Grodno, a glass bottle of liters on 10 with sparkling (I'm not lying!) Liquid was pulled from the depths of Transporter. . At the bottom there was another liter and a half.
- Here ... Right now, we will show you what the soul of Grodno is ... Do not poison, you know ...
We, frankly, shuddered from the perspective. We had to go to the center, then a solemn event at one in the morning, and at 4-30 we had to be on the site for reconstruction. Pancake...
In my opinion, the scent of an experienced moonshiner with experience of about 15 years, the fluid was at least 60 degrees. And there was fat. Where do without him?
Mentally crossed himself and - broads! Inside the body exploded and sparkled!
Now we know what the "soul of Grodno" is ...
- Oh, rosy! Now you will ride the whole evening like a wound up! - commented Yura. And he was right. At this high-octane refueling station, we not only went through the whole march, but on the way back along with the new acquaintance Alexander, our reader and historian, we also went around the entire old center of Brest.
- You, if anything, on the way back, come, - invited us. To eat. But we decided not to risk it.
In general, if you leave behind the scenes what I said and what I chose to keep silent about, then the trip gave only positive impressions. An interesting country, beautiful people. Well, we came across these.
And one moment. Belarus, unlike our native lands, is a sort of Slavic reserve. Migrant workers have not seen at all. Everything we saw was done by local hands. Unusually, but damn it, it looks nice.
We relived and discussed our impressions all the way back. And the little bit of negativity that we had, finally sank in that amount of warmth, hospitality, attentiveness that fell upon us from those who met us, and those with whom we met during our throwings.
I don’t know how Egypt, Turkey and other countries are there, where they decided to drag their bodies to rest, but we in Belarus seized such a charge of everything sunny, what a resort there ... Yes, there is no sea. But there is much more. Especially for those interested history in general, just loves beautiful places. And so there them ...
We were already leaving, saying goodbye to our good genius Dmitry, who ditched a lot of his time against us when another invitation came. On the "Stalin Line". But we were forced to refuse, because everything was finished: strength, money, film, flash drives. And, as we were told, how we walk - we need to spend the whole day.
We decided that another time. And we liked this idea initially. It is always pleasant to go back to where it is comfortable and warm to the soul.
So ... Goodbye, Belarus!
Postscript: as you already understood, we traveled to such a distance for a reason. There are many interesting materials ahead.