Archives for the month of: January, 2013

In the preceding post in this series I opted for a 48 hour transit visa as a good way to get some time in Belarus on the cheap. I booked a pair of sleeper trains from Kiev to Minsk and then 18 hours later from Minsk to Riga, using full timetables on RealRussia.co.uk to ensure that I would enter and exit the relevant borders within a 48 period. This visa would be £50 instead of the £120+ for a tourist visa and would also negate needing a letter of invitation to visit the country. All sounds great so far until you actually start applying for the visa as it is not the most straight forward one to get.

Firstly there is no separate application form for this unique type of visa, you use the same form as if you were applying for a longer visa meaning you end up leaving a lot of very important looking questions blank (but not blank as in incomplete as the guide I found tucked away on the embassy website said you have to put ‘N/A’ or the form will be rejected). There is also a reasonable amount of ambiguous and contradictory statements on the form/website that add to the confusion, my personally favorite being “Please detail the person/organisation inviting you to Belarus, even if an invitation is not necessary”.

In my attempts to answer these questions I found that there is a real lack of information online about getting a transit visa for Belarus. Now I know the route I’m taking (Kiev-Minsk-Riga) is not exactly a common thing to do but a lot of people transit Belarus from Poland to Russia on their way to Moscow to do the Trans-Siberian railway. I decided that if my nervously filled out application form got approved then I’d write up a post with some advice on the trickier questions.

Read the rest of this entry »

As someone who loves to travel I end up being limited by how much time I can take away from work. Even after taking advantage of every British bank holiday weekend I’d still like to see more places. As a result of this I’ve been trying to find out where it is possible to go to from London for a weekend without taking any time off work and without spending a huge amount of money. The main considerations are whether there are flights at times to make the most of the time restriction and whether those flights are reasonably priced. I’ve done a pair of these trips so far (one to jersey, the other to Ben Nevis) and thought it might be worth writing them up.

So firstly, why the Channel islands? Whilst you may think that as the Channel islands are deemed British they wouldn’t be much different from say somewhere on the south coast of the mainland, but, due to their occupation by Nazi forces during the second world war, and their blend of of parts of English and French culture, they have a rich history and personality that is enough to interest someone form the mainland. On top of this they do have much better weather being that little bit further south (my trip in November was touching on T-shirt weather on the Sunday).

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: