I am planning to travel from Minsk to Istanbul.
As I started looking into it and planning, the first few question marks aroused, so I thought about posting them here hoping to get clarifications.
First (and main) is the Visa issue.
I understand there is now a 5 days visa-free stay available, but it won’t be my case as you are only allowed to travel in and out the country through Minsk airport.
With the single entry visa (up to 90 days) things seem to get more restrictive (for people like me who want to wild camp). There is this thing about pre-booking the hotels/apartments that I don’t quite understand, how does that work?
I also found that there is an alternative way of applying via a “simplified procedure”, where you need to include an invitation from a Belarusian citizen complete of personal details and registration (guess registration here stands for residence?) address - which still doesn’t seem to simplify things that much, given the fact that I don’t know anybody in Belarus who can invite me (!).
Got most of these info from: http://uk.mfa.gov.by/en/consular_issues/visas/
So my questions on this are: has anyone ever had experience of traveling in Belarus? If so, how did you get your visa? And, did you camp or did you book hotels?
The second thought regards border crossing.
I’ve read of some border crossings being only for cars. Apparently in such places bikes are not allowed to cross at all, unless carried on a car (!).
Has anyone had any experience in this regards?
I am going to be crossing the southern border going into Ukraine to Kiev.
Does anyone know whether there are any issues of this kind in that area? And if so, which are the places to avoid (and/or the ones to go to)?
The last point I’d like to ask about is the areas affected by radiations.
As I will be going from Minsk to Kiev, I have the possibility to travel through the areas that were most affected by Chernobyl’s accident.
I’ve read different things about travelling in this areas (from filtering the tap water to washing clothes and tent after use in the forests, and avoiding food sold by the roadside), but haven’t found any report made by travellers.
Any thoughts or experiences on this?
I would also like to find out if there is something that is worth reporting, like problems related to these affected areas, stuff that could be filmed/shot and brought back to show the world.
If you know or have any ideas on this, put it in your answer!
I think I asked everything for now :)
Thanks for sparing your time to read my lengthy post!
*bring positiveness around the world at the pace dictated by your heart!*