Rus Articles Journal

What to look in Brest at? Notes of the honest vacationer from the Brest fortress of

Planning rest in Belarus this year, I long puzzled where to go what to look at. It is necessary to tell that in spite of the fact that Belarus - the country with rich ancient history, and Belarusians - the hospitable people, rest and sights are quite boring and monotonous there as they were monotonous in the USSR whose naisovestliveyshy successor Belarus is today.

Everywhere the identical honestly dollied up medieval churches and churches - walls, all the rest, as a rule, fake. The empty museums - “gistarychnyya kashto?nastsi“ where someone from nowadays great once allegedly lived or stopped. Cafe and restaurants with even Soviet - unsmiling and awkward - service and the hash browns or pancakes which filled osky.

To go to the local Disneylands with crowds of the growing fat gapers and the Belarusian crape, on zasizhenny as flies, coast of the Belarusian lakes and the rivers or in the most boring agroestates Belarusian “as if“ or rest houses where from melancholy it is possible to run away back for work, I also did not want. And so there was a wish to curtail as far as it is possible, from the well-groomed historical tracks beaten in modern dust, to feel nervousness long ago of the fallen asleep blood, to feel genuine delight from contact with time, original traditions and living people that I took and chose Brest - half instinctively, half logically.

Why Brest - that? Yes because, that, in - the first, there is one of the monuments which pierced my life with height of a human feat since the early childhood to the real maturity - the Brest fortress. In - the second, in the same place Bialowieza Forest - one of the few relic reserves with even innocent the person, the manicured nature nearby lies. And in - the third, Brest - almost my native Ukraine where with the Belarusian shy akkuratizm also the Ukrainian quintessence with its raskhristannost, expanse of streets and prospectuses, the sincere width of residents of Brest is felt. As we reached by


As we reached Brest? Very simply: took two reserved seats on the night train to Brest though the train went on Gomel (to the opposite side), as it and there was “a train to Brest“. On the road which takes with a share taxi exactly 4 hours by train at us 12 hours left precisely.

The car were hook-on, at number 28, and so far we went to a tail of structure, to us cars No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, the Grodno-Odessa car and our car No. 28 met. Everything was logical: why to the car No. 28 not to be right after from cars from 1 to 8, and to someone not to go straight to Odessa if someone can go straight to Brest - and all this by train to Gomel?

At the station and already in the car I almost with pleasure met a little almost forgotten Soviet rudeness - when to you who stood turn before a nose put the plate “a technical break“, and in the car do aloud remarks that we “took an excess pillow“, do not greet, do not tell the magic words “Thanks“ and “All good“, probably, not to seem too well-mannered.

As the car was hook-on, on the way to Brest us all night long, with a roar and a convulsive derganye, unhooked, fastened, and we went backwards, forward, to the West, to the East that I with ease determined by draft from a half-open window which blew in one, in other party. The feeling was unusual, dizzy: next morning the feeling was it that we passed a floor - Belarus, having made a hook at first to Gomel, and then having already gone to Brest, having reeled up time in three more than the put kilometers.

For the rest everything passed simply and cheerfully: we joked that we were dragged all night long on the West, on the East across all Belarus, we inhaled railroad smells, familiar since the childhood, slept on the same short folding shelves suitable unless for tiny Chinese, having lowered the heels in a face by going, kept to both hands, sitting on a carriage toilet bowl while aimed to throw off us from it. There was not evil, cheerfully. As we chose by


is simple to Reserve hotel in Brest in the summer. Of course, if you are ready not to stint and lay out 500 - 600 thousand Belarusian hares ($32-38) in a night in Soviet type to hotel for two. I rang round around five - six hotels, different “Druzhb“, “Brestov“ and “At Hopes“. Were the most suitable “Friendship“ for 380 thousand for two, but “without hot water“, and “Youth“ for 360 thousand. (as already on the place it became clear, without hot water though at the first call held back it - probably, from modesty too).

Having not for long thought over extensively, we according to the card drew a route from the station till “Youth“ and in an hour were on the place. “Youth“, as well as it was possible to assume according to the Soviet name and low cost of number, was on boondocks of driving school and “behind garages at once“. We passed DOSAAF school with its brick boxes, so familiar since the childhood, and low garages also appeared the armored personnel carrier on a pedestal at hotel.

The same service, just as from the childhood: instead of the computer - the lined schedule of arrivals - ubytiya, line at the administrator`s window (not the receptionist!) slow, almost eternal service of anywhere not hurrying provincials. Everything was to pain, to pleasure familiarly, and even, despite their heat under 35 Celsius and our fatigue of night in the train, did not irritate at all.

It is necessary to recognize that number surpassed our expectations: clean, accurate, with double-glazed windows and the whole shower cabin, though without hot water. In total as I also wanted - a maximum of nostalgia and simplicity, a pathos minimum!

I as managed, smeared sweat and dirt a stream of ice water and the remains of liquid soap from a soap tray while a female half moved off in searches of a teapot to heat waters for more comfortable ablution. I do not know how a female half, but man`s was almost happy - inconsistent emotions from nostalgia, pleasure and rage raged in me, disconnecting a rational basis and including in me the playing the fool boy. Fortress aged from 7 to 12 years I read


, and more than once, several books about the Brest fortress presented to me by the grandfather, the participant of the Second World War whose contents and a look I remember distinctly and until now: the lieutenant Kizhevatov, the captain Fomin, “We die, but we do not give up“, monuments “Thirst“ and “Grief“ forever were stamped on the memory. And here I here. Not for the first time, but nevertheless the feeling of easy nervousness fills me.

“Get up the country huge“ on an entrance to “Star“, casemates, red, almost bloody brick of which strengthening all in pockmarks - marks from enemy splinters and bullets, the river the Western Bug to which defenders of fortress crept is constructed to gather waters.

And nearby, in the fortress where “we die, but we do not give up“ where “the first defenders of fortress“ … a toilet, a warehouse, militia accepted death here … Perhaps it is so already accepted - to arrange latrines where our grandfathers perished - I do not know, but only all this not my bag.

And life boils, “enterteynment“ on western, market manners is in full swing: in the territory of the fortress (what was not five more years to that is it seems as the holy site was honored when I was there for the first time) - cafes, snackbars, ice cream, kvass, a photo for memory in a soldier`s blouse and with a rifle atilt and other pleasures for the having a rest plebs. In shorts and cowboy`s hats, prichavkivy belyashes and smacking the lips crowds of inhabitants kvass, ply from “Thirst“ to “Grief“, from “We perish, without shaming“ to “The message to descendants“, from a cafe to a toilet …

that day we bypassed also one third of legendary fortress, and I already did not feel legs under myself. We returned to hotel in the evening, tired and hungry. Slept without back, and lobbies too, legs.

Further travel to Bialowieza Forest was necessary to us...