I was recommended this activity with the phrase “It’s the most terrifying thing on earth”, and this came from someone with experience of some pretty sketchy situations! I knew immediately I had to do it as if I didn’t I’d just be annoyed with myself. All I knew initially is that the bobsled run was within the vicinity of Riga and after a quick google found various English language websites offering tours to the place for £125 if two of us went (£80 each for 4 people or more), pretty steep but I was determined to go.
Belarus is not exactly somewhere you’d see advertised in a travel agent. It is a borderline dictatorship, the current President having been in power for nearly two decades despite the maximum term originally being 10 years, and has been denied entry to the EU as it still practices capital punishment and has a military that is not under civilian control.
To put people off even more they are also quite strict on the visa front, requiring you to get a letter from a resident/travel agent/hotel inviting you to visit the country, a signed letter from your employer and £75 to cover the admin all before you’ve even booked a flight. If you’ve reached this point you’ll then find that there are almost no direct flights from London and you’ll end up spending hundreds getting there.
There are various companies that will source the Letter of Invitation (LOI) on your behalf but they usually charge a substantial fee (£30+) and offer it as part of a visa application package inflating the £75 fee with a service charge of their own. So as it stands we’re looking at £100+ on the visa and £250+ on flights, and quite frankly if you’re not specifically interested in going to Belarus it’s not really going to be worth the time expense.