Baranovichi, Belarus (2011)
(also spelled "Baranavicy")

Photo below: A house about a mile from the train station in Baranovichi.
No, the decoration on that house was not "typical" of houses in Baranovichi, but it's the most memorable. What you see are cut glass mirrors that have been cemented to the exterior of the house. The mirrors were on the three sides of the house visible from the street.

Photo below: train station in Baranovichi.
Actually, it's not "the" train station in Baranovichi. Rather, it is one of two train stations in Baranovichi. Neither is close to the downtown area of Baranovichi, so don't expect to walk out from the train station during a four-hour wait and find a nice local restaurant -- especially not on a Sunday when most businesses in Belarus are closed.

Photo below: Open-air market across from the train station.
Across from the train station is a market area. There is a produce market with tables set up open-air in a parking lot. And there was a larger market area with many small shops and booths, long rows of tiny shops, each selling its own special products. Some stores sold only meat; some, only jeans; some, only laundry detergent.

Photo below: Lady selling potatoes in Baranovichi.
I asked to take the lady's photo. She adjusted her scarf, her hands, and smiled. One brief moment of friendship; two women with very different lives.

Photo below: Stop sign in Baranovichi.

A surprise during my travels was how well one could survive without speaking any language other than English. Often, a polite "Does anyone speak English, please?" found an English speaker. But, if not, just muddle through. Point; gesture; draw pictures; pull out cash.

After a few hours of exploring the area around the train station in Baranovichi, I was on a slow train to Pinsk.

2011 Trip