The journey is more pleasant the more unexpected each new turn on your way is. Did I think that this summer I would drive almost to the border with Ukraine and admire the lakes in the middle of wild swampy forests? Did I think that I would walk through abandoned villages? Did I think that I would meet people in Belarus whose language I don't understand? No. But it was the absence of any plan and any expectations from its implementation that made my acquaintance with the south of Belarus special.
There is no hurry when traveling. "A circular route through Belarus" sounds good until you realize that you have a week for it. After two days of running among the sights and getting up for this run at 8 am, it suddenly became clear that we were not enjoying the rest. Then the route was cut in half, and the north of Belarus, which was left for last, as the most interesting, was not visited. But we realized that the most interesting and the most advertised are definitely not the same thing.
Polesie has its own magic. At first, this region seems inhospitable. The people here are a little gloomy, the settlements, most often, are small, without friendly central squares and bright farmsteads. The roads are uneven, narrow, animals that are unaccustomed to humans come out of the forests on them. If you want to enjoy nature, it will give you a warm welcome: it will wet your feet to the knees until you reach the river, in which you will not swim, the water is so dark in it, it will surround you with mosquitoes and treat you with sour berries. Polesie is a test of strength.
But only at the beginning. And then you suddenly get to know people better and realize how broad their soul is, how proud they are of their region and cherish their native home. Suddenly you notice that the windows of their blackened houses are decorated with shutters as blue as the sky with carvings as golden as the sun. Suddenly you see how many colors there are in plants, in swamps. And when you try the liqueur prepared on marsh cranberries by local residents, it seems to you tastier than honey. You raise your eyes to the sky and see storks-birds that bring happiness. And you think: "Probably, this is the happiest corner of Belarus, because I have never seen so many of these birds in my life." Polesie-poetry.
But for fans of a less poetic, but more civilized holiday, too, not everything is lost. Today, even in the middle of the marshes, you can find a place with a restaurant, a SPA and Luxury rooms with a view of the dawn. Therefore, if you want Belarusian exoticism, extreme sports, poetry or just a good rest, do not think and do not plan. Take a camera, rubber boots and a mosquito repellent and go to Polesie to discover the unknown and admire the storks in the sky.