The Bus Stops of Belarus

Click to enlarge The small, sleepy, Soviet-era town of Mozyr lies a couple of hours' drive downwind (as it blew on the morning of the 26th of April, 1986) of Chernobyl. A black bronze statue of Lenin looks sternly down on the huge open square. People carrying their shopping sit on the bench and wait for the bus in front of the Heroic Maidens fountain. Rumour spreads that a lorry with onions has come into town and a queue quickly forms. A traditional choir entertains passers-by in the park, and stalls sell grilled sausage on the river bank. There is a holiday atmosphere in the late summer air as the town prepares for the 650th aniversary of its founding. Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge The cleaners have been out in force in the town to ensure that it is looking its best for the special occasion. However, this is nothing unusual. In fact, Mozyr always looks this clean and tidy - as does the rest of Belarus. This small country, at the very eastern edge of Europe, is undoubtedly one of the cleanest and tidiest countries in the world. This is the lasting impression a visitor will leave with. Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge The refinery town of Mozyr lies about half way between Minsk and Kiev. If the curious reader were to search the internet for a map of the Chernobyl contamination, and having found it to place a dot in the center of the worst contaminated area immediately north west of the site of the reactor, then Mozyr would be about a days' walk from that point. Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge Belarus was probably the country most affected by the accident at Chernobyl, and its people suffered greatly. Some two decades later the country appears to have returned to normality, but the memory of that accident is never far from the surface. The economy is still reeling from having to import much of the country's food, and many people still live with personal tragedies as a result of the radioactive poison that fell from the sky. Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge The four hour drive south-east from the capital, Minsk, to Mozyr is though vast forests - all of them as carefully manicured and tended as the cities. Small villages with the same blue and yellow paint fading on the roadside fences dot the route. Before long these villages start to appear identical and the eye is drawn irresistably to the colourful bus-stops. Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge Impeccably clean and tidy, each bus stop is a minor work of art. No two are the same. Flowers, colourful insects, forest animals and landscapes are the predominant themes. Often executed with more enthusiasm than artistic ability, the individuality of these street decorations are a vivid and welcome contrast to the socialist uniformity of Belarus. Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge These few pages are the author's personal view of this small country and this site is not intended to present a complete picture of Belarus. Click on the small pictures above to view the enlarged photos where you will find more pictures on similar themes. Click to enlarge

Mozyr Town
Monuments of Mozyr
The Bus Stops of Belarus
The Prypiat River
The Forests of Mozyr
Village Scenes

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