There are countries that are extremely popular and when you say you've been there, you'll hear "Wow! I want to go there too!". These are the destinations heavily promoted as attractive in the West: France, Spain, Italy and other places in Western Europe as well as South East Asia - especially Thailand.
There are also places where only the extreme travelers have the courage to travel - even though they risk their lives - these are war-torn countries like Syria or Iraq.
There's also a third group of places - those that no one talks about, no one goes to and most even never heard of or know they exist. Belarus is of one them. Few people are aware where this European country is located and probably the only thing they may have heard about it is that it's a cold (in a literal and metaphorical sense), closed state - the last dictatorship in the Old Continent.
For us, as ordinary visitors, Belarus turned out to be a huge surprise. Where we expected gray, old, communist-era blocks were extremely beautiful historical sites and very modern architecture. In the center of Minsk, people enjoy their time in the restaurants in the small Old Town area, relax at the river and take part in many free concerts and performances. Even the Soviet buildings on the outskirts of the city are well maintained.
Grodno was the most romantic town in Belarus, with extremely well groomed parks and squares, perfectly clean and beautiful. Because there are not that many destinations in Belarus and it's such a cheap country, we also managed to sleep in a real castle in the village of Mir which was a cool, different experience!
If you want to find out more about Belarus, take a look at the posts below, such an undiscovered gem is always worth discovering, especially now, when you can fly to Minsk visa-free!