Finishing our flick through the Baltic States we are heading back to Mother Russia to continue our north-south traverse of this gigantic country. From the hedonistic and free-wheeling lifestyles of the capitals of the Three Sisters, the transition to Belarus crosses a stark boundary. We encounter it initially at the border where a 3 km line up of lorries waiting to clear customs and get out to Lithuania. Speaking to one driver he tells us that it can take up to 5 days to get along the queue and during our couple of hours at the border we watch the speed of processing and see them only process 3 trucks in that time.
Our next reminder that Belarus remains a home of crippling bureaucratic barriers to efficiency was when checking in to a hotel – another one-hour long process with form after form to fill in. No wonder we were one of few guests!
Oh – and why White Russia? Because the Mongol Hordes never got this far across Russia and so the bloodlines were not influenced.