Monday, August 01, 2016

Monday, August 01, 2016

most beloved palace and a pretty castle in 1 day

Posted by Hippo Bean at 9:59 PM
woke up at 6 as usual and since breakfast wasnt until 9, i ventured out. the gates were electronically locked, so I climbed over the small mount. There were 2 lakes next to the castle and from there i got good shots of the palace. a few people were jogging and biking around the lake and 1 guy was fishing. the air was cool and refreshing. the atmosphere quiet and serene.

Breakfast took an hour. service was slow and when the eggs and tomatoes finally came, the coffee was already consumed. but we breakfast'd in an elegant room with decorated ceilings and walls, inside the palace. It started to rain by the time breakfast was finally over but the morning was still warm when we visited the inside of the palace. It didnt disappoint. The Nezvizh palace, owned by the Radziwiłł family, was one of the highlights of belarus, and one of the most beautiful I've visited. It's not tremendously big and not exaggeratedly ornate like the russian ones but had an intimate feel to it, and the superb location of situated between lakes and very green belts. The halls werent big but nonetheless stunning and magnificent. The hunting room was filled with animal trophies. I particularly liked the moose heads and falcons. The meeting room boasted of wooden ceilings with intricate golden design and the golden hall gorgeous glass chandeliers and mirrors facing each other so not only could we see the reflections of the chandeliers but also reflections upon reflections through the mirrors. The parquet flooring also had beautiful designs. The chapel was all pastel pink and it had 2 levels. I really liked this palace. It's now one of my favorites. Near the palace, we stopped briefly at the Catholic Corpus Christi church to admire its fantastic frescoes decorating every inch of the walls. The church exterior was a simple white but the interior was stunningly decorated. Most pretty church. Next we walked to the town square but there wasnt much to see.

A few hours on the road and it brought us to Mir, the second highlight of the trip. It was as beautiful as shown online. Mir castle, imposing from the the outside, the inside was more of a museum. I've walked the walls and climbed to a side tower but there was no view from the top. No matter. I still liked this castle. a few shops across from the castle were open and we browsed. bought a semi acceptable fridge magnet. otherwise, nothing really caught my eye

Witalij said we'd stop at a village. The 'village' turned out to be the memorial to the Katyn village which was completely destroyed and all inhabitants killed by the Germans. The setting was sad and beautiful as every second the bell tolled and it echoed across the entire plain. A rectangular block marked where each house stood with a black and red square with open flame. Most beautiful memorial.

We arrived at Minsk late in the day and did a walking tour of the capital. Very soviet with large boulevards, big victory square complete with lenin's statue, eye catching st simon and helena red brick church, big never ending city but not pretty. Only the city gates across from the railroad station was worth a photo but we didnt stop and i couldnt get a shot from the running bus. pity.

our soviet style hotel was in the industrial area (r u kidding?), far from the city center but there's a metro station just outside the hotel. very soviet the hotel was, with huge reception area, a few sofas but otherwise empty spaces, 14 floors, tiny and slow elevators and small rooms. 1 pillow and 1 towel per person. all this didnt put me down because it was expected and the view from the 13th floor wasnt bad.

for dinner we walked to a nearby chic restaurant joint that offered lousy local cuisine as well as burgers and pizza, pretty much everything under the sun. young people frequented this joint. my beef came in rolls with cheese inside. somehow every piece of meat in belarus either came with cheese or tomato on top. they dont know how to cook meat without putting anything on top. and my very salty beef was expensive simply because it's the capital. not a satisfied meal. but the hotel did have an inner garden, a sanctuary for my quiet evening with a cup of tea before bed time.

Nezvizh Castle photos:



Mir Castle photos:



Minsk photos:


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