Saturday, August 06, 2016

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Grodna - now that was nice

Posted by Hippo Bean at 10:45 PM
In the morning I discovered I slept on several dead bugs on the bed!

an hour or so later we checked in to our Grodna hotel, the Neman, another grand soviet style hotel. Why we had to stay overnight at that terrible hotel at Lida, only to check in to another hotel the following morning, beats me!

I like the hotel Neman. It's right across from the square, with a supermarket, bakery and bank next door. The rooms were big and a plush restaurant. it would have been perfect if we didnt overnight at Lida but came straight here for 2 nights.

The augustow canal was a pleasant visit in a Saturday morning. no crowds and the place was green. they built this canal with several locks to go all the way to the Baltic sea! we had our picnic lunch here and this time I had 2 pastries, which i bought from the bakery next to our hotel, one with some fruit paste that was good and another some onions that was horrible. H got one with cooked liver. since they didnt speak any english and there were no signs indicating what the pastries were, we just pointed to some and let luck decide.

The remains of the fort of Grodno had massive walls and we couldnt go inside the fortress because of the mines. But I was quite impress with the thick walls. Then we did a walking tour of the city, the old castle which had wonderful views of the new city on the other side of the neman river with a very pretty bridge, the white st francis xavier church right next to our hotel, the Kalozha Church, the red brick church of st boris and gleb with unique brick designs, the last surviving ruthenian architecture, the very pretty pink Pakrouskaya Orthodox Church, and the great synagogue with interior filled with intricate arches.

Saturday was wedding day in Grodna, and we saw many brides in different gowns, some elegant and beautiful. Women were beautiful in this country. However, the men less so.

Finally we walked back to our hotel in the pedestrian street that had a supermall and a few shops. Found a souvenir shop but there wasnt much there to interest me. Hard as I've tried, there wasnt anything to buy in Belarus. Just managed a few postcards and a semi acceptable fridge magnet of the Mir castle. all they had was woolen socks, gloves and mittens and babushka dolls. quite disappointed at their souvenir department.

Dinner was at a basement sports restaurant adjacent to our hotel. big flat screen TV's were showing the olympics. I had mushroom soup (no more cold slaw) followed by a hot pot of beef, mushroom and potato. this time a much bigger pot but the sauce wasnt as tasty as the one in the park.

back in my room, ready to turn in for the last night in belarus but felt a bit hot. since we crossed the border, the weather had turned cloudy and rainy and sometimes very hot (like yesterday in Lida where we needed AC the most) and sometimes even cold, like in Polostk. So I've tried the room AC. Fowl water smell came out and i thought to let it run a bit. the smell didnt improve so i shut it off and thought of opening the window for some cool fresh air. i was in the 3rd floor so I thought the air should be good. out came lots of bugs into the room. at closer check, the bugs were stuck to the window (for warmth? since the evening was rainy and cool?). so suffered another night of bugs. stupid me!

Grodna photos:

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