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18 May 1999

Hello from Smolensk, the REAL Russia,

I made it through Moscow and am now in a small town near the border and on my way to Minsk Byelorussia. The hotel I found last night is the best in town. Actually, it isn't bad and the rate is a mere $12 per night, including a dinner-like breakfast! For the first time in ages I used the mini bar. A bottle of wine or Vodka is $2-$3. I just can't ignore a bargain and I drank the whole bottle of excellent red wine before the dubbed American movie ended. In the movie the bad guys were Soviet KGB! Made me wonder why they would show a movie like that. NO ONE speaks English here, so figuring things out is a real challenge... lots of fun.

As I have just finished breakfast and almost immediately found this Internet Cafe, I haven't had a chance to explore the town much in daylight. There is an old fort here and many churches with the onion shaped roofs now apparently used for other purposes like storage. I don't know what else I might find, but I'm now off to see the world... at least this little remote part of it.


Fred L Bellomy






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Reference photo: author
 August 2002

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