April 20, 2008

All About Town

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , , , at 9:32 pm by Jenn

I finally got the appropriate drivers installed and was able to get the pictures from my camera!  When my computer died many of my pictures were lost so I’m really thankful that I still had the pictures from Germany on my camera.  I can’t remember when the last time I backed up my photo files was, but I’m pretty sure it was before Germany.  My new promise to myself is going to be to store the pictures on a site like Flickr so that I don’t have to worry about this stuff anymore.

Ok, so last Tuesday was the day the movers came to crate up our boxes.  You remember the ones.  The ones that had to be packed in case we are leaving, but we are not sure we are leaving, but we need to be prepared in case we are leaving, so we are ready to leave if we need to leave, yeah those boxes.  Thankfully it was a nice day, because I really needed to walk to relieve some stress.  I was glad for the opportunity to take a few pictures on a nice, blue day.  So here they are:

  This is a picture of Take Away Sushi.  It’s about a block from our apartment and best of all they deliver!  It definitely isn’t the best sushi I’ve ever had, in fact, it’s pretty darn near the worst, but it’s sushi and it will do in a pinch especially during these “cupboard is bare” times.  There is also a pizza place/restaurant nearby.  We haven’t tried this one yet, but maybe one day this week.  We’ve heard good things about it.  It’s called Ziopepe.

At the end of the street is the Stella statue which I’ve posted pictures of before and on the other side of the street is this billboard which always has something festive.  This says Republic of Belarus:

 the sign is what I say marks the entrance of the park.  The park is nice and there are several statues and later in the spring there will be many flowers.  One of my favorite things in the park is this piece of graffiti which I’m surprised is still here:

  This marks my half way point in the walk (I think).  Since it was such a nice day I didn’t take my usual route.  I wanted to take pictures of the statues and walk down around the water.  A friend from work also suggested I see the peacock, so I went off in search of the bird.  I was a little disappointed that his tail was not blooming.  She said that later in the year his tail is in full bloom with so many beautiful flowers.  Here he is, minus the splendour:

 the building in the background is Hotel Belarus

This gazebo type monument/statue is really pretty from a distance, but up close it has been heavily vandalized with graffiti.  One of the things we comment on here is the lack of graffiti ( I know I’ve reference two pieces in this post).  The city is really clean and beautiful.  I personally think there is a group of Oompaloompas who go around and clean up the graffiti, though they have never been seen.  They must not go in to the park though!  Here’s a picture of the gazebo statue

In the distance behind the gazebo you can see the river.  Once this is in my sight I’m on a mission.  Up to this point I still hadn’t walked around the river because the weather just hadn’t been nice enough.  This was the perfect day.  Here are a few pictures:

  Still in the park, with the water getting closer.

 Near the statue of Alexander Puskin.

  Puskin was a famous Russian poet.  His statue sits in the park and he overlooks the river.  He has a wonderful view of the old town of Minsk and the Island of Tears.

I didn’t walk to the Island on this day, because I’d been there the day before.  I do want to post a few more pictures of the Island because it was such an interesting place and such an important part of recent Belarussian history.  As you are walking over the bridge you have an excellent view of the island (which is man made just for this memorial) and the memorial

  I couldn’t help but notice the flowers at the end of the bridge.  There is a rock here with a madonna statue inside with an plaque that reads something about “for our sons”

  The memorial itself is beautiful.  There are four groups of women.  To enter the memorial you walk through these iron gates.  Each gate door has a handle which is inscribed with the name of a major city of Belarus.  Inside the memorial the inside of each group of women is an altar with the walls containing the names of the fallen with a place for a candle next to each name.  The ceiling has a light which from the outside you can see.  They say this is illuminated at night, but I’ve never seen it (never been that close at night).


Also on the island is a statue of an angel boy who is rying.   This statue is at the end of one of the paths leading from the memorial. 

If you look very carefully you might notice that the penis on this statue is a little shiny.  Apparently many brides come to the island on their wedding day and rub the angel’s penis.  This is supposed to bless the marriage with fertility and a male son.  I don’t know if that is true or not, and my friend doesn’t know how this story orignated, but we have witnessed many brides crossing the bridge to the Island of Tears. 

This picture is taken heading up the hill to the American Embassy.  You’ll notice the American Flag showing through the trees.



  1. Heather said,

    OK – why does shiny-penis-angel-boy have a tail? Do angels have tails???? Is that a tail??? I’m confused!


  2. sjsmart said,

    Um, that’s not a tail, that’s his other wing! Angels have two wings here in Belarus too! You are crazy. It does look like a tail though! : )

  3. Jen D said,

    Great pics. I especially like the memorial pics. The blue sky is beautiful-no wonder you went for a walk! Did Max go with?

  4. Ruth said,

    I’m sorry you lost the pics on your hard drive!! Bummer.

    Thanks for the walking tour of Belarus. Beautiful.

  5. not Goth said,

    This is really cool to see the city like this! nice job. The penis statue thing was a bit creepy.. I shall not be doing similar. lol

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