For the first-time visitor from the West, a scheduled flight to Minsk provides the most direct means of access to Belarus. Some venture no further than the capital itself, yet getting out of Minsk and beyond the façade of tourism offers the traveller a glimpse of the way of life of ordinary Belarusians.
Whether sharing food and vodka with strangers on a five-hour train journey from Minsk to second city Homiel, or helping the driver collect fares on a local bus ride from village to village, leaving the capital behind can make a genuine traveller out of a tourist.
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